Thanks to Phil Nobile Jr. over at Birth.Movies.Death., it’s been brought to the Internet’s collective attention that MGM doesn’t play things as close to the vest as many other major studios. Its year-end investor conference call is available online and actually contains some pretty interesting tidbits of information about plans for the studio’s biggest properties, from James Bond to 21 Jump Street.
Here are the big takeaways: despite Spectre‘s lackluster reviews, the Bond franchise is staying right on track, historically speaking, with one exec noting that MGM will continue to take its time with all aspects of the series, both in terms of creative development and distribution partnerships.
According to the exec:
“Bond is the most valuable property that we have, and it’s been on a cycle of every three-to-four years, and I anticipate it will be on that same three-to-four year cycle.”
Whether that means much of anything creatively is up for debate. Many, including actor Mark Strong, have predicted that Daniel Craig is done with the franchise, and it could be argued that the three-to-four-year gap between films will give MGM plenty of time to cast a new actor in the central role of 007.
Craig himself has certainly beaten around the bush about reprising the part, saying at one point that he’d rather “break this glass and slash my wrists,” and then at another that he might return. A betting man would probably assume that a good, long break between movies would sweeten the deal for Craig if he were to come back, which explains MGM’s happiness with cooling its jets on developing the next Bond for at least a few months.
Additionally, the conference call revealed that MGM is in “no rush” to replace Sony as a co-distributor on the Bond franchise, which puts the brakes on previous rumors that the studio was going to dump Sony and announce a new Bond collaborator once its contract with the studio was up following Spectre. In other words, MGM is the belle of the ball right now, and it’s going to take its time deciding which handsome team of execs makes for the best dance partner.
In other MGM news, the call reveals that a Creed sequel “is currently in development,” and that 23 Jump Street is “in the pipeline.” Fun, if unsurprising stuff.