All anyone on the web is talking about anymore boils down to Marvel and DC Comics adaptations, but neither of those studios can hold a candle to the longevity of the James Bond franchise. More than 50 years after Sean Connery first played the character on screen in 1962’s Dr. No, the series is still going strong, thanks mostly to a creative revamping overseen by MGM and Sony Pictures on 2004’s Casino Royale.
This fall, 007 will appear again in Spectre, but there will be much bigger news than just that film regarding the spy before year’s end – the release of Spectre will mark the end of the lucrative deal between MGM and Sony that began with Casino Royale, and leave the franchise up for grabs with regard to which studios will partner with MGM on future entries.
Variety reports that Warner Bros. may be the studio to beat on that front, on account of the friendship between MGM head Gary Barber and WB CEO Kevin Tsujihara. The studios have already collaborated on the highly successful Hobbit trilogy, and it’s not hard to imagine James Bond setting up shop at the studio for another high-profile joint effort.
Of course, Sony was dealt a serious blow by the hacking scandal last fall, which saw several of its titles leaked online ahead of their theatrical bows (most prominently Brad Pitt’s Fury and the remake of Annie), and the failure of its Spider-Man Cinematic Universe has also left the studio in a poor position.
It’s expected that Sony will fight tooth-and-nail to keep Bond, one of its most consistently successful franchises, in house. After all, Skyfall was the most successful of any Bond title yet, pulling in $1.1 billion. However, Sony’s execs may have no choice but to let 007 go, if other studios make offers that they just can’t top.
Spectre opens on November 6.