Back in 2009, it was reported that the MGM film studio was going bankrupt and in an attempt to pay back their debt they were close to losing the movie rights to the James Bond film franchise (which is already 20+ films long). Because of the studio’s financial woes, there was no chance that a new film (a follow-up to the last Bond film, 2008’s Quantum of Solace) would be made … until now. The LA Times reports this week that MGM struck up a deal with Sony Pictures to move forward with the 23rd and 24th James Bond films … the first of which is now scheduled to hit theaters in late 2012. Bond lives, y’all!
James Bond fans holding their breath about the fate of the superspy franchise can exhale a little. MGM and Sony have announced a deal under which the companies will co-finance and release the next two Bond pictures. After numerous false starts, the deal will return Daniel Craig to the screen as the suave if tortured hero on Nov. 9, 2012. (Sam Mendes will direct the new picture, which could also star Javier Bardem in the villain role.) As my Company Town colleagues report, the two companies will share financing costs, and Sony will release the movie in all but a few select worldwide territories; MGM will release the film in the remaining territories. A second film, known informally as Bond 24, will also fall under the new deal. Details of that are still a ways off, though the deal announced Wednesday offers hope that there will be fewer snags and delays than have afflicted Bond 23. MGM financial issues and other obstacles have led to a long gap between films; there has been no new Bond movie since “Quantum of Solace” was released in 2008.
This is, IMHO, great news. The Bond films are an institution and it would’ve been CRIMINAL if the franchise would’ve died. Daniel Craig is the most exciting Bond we’ve had in YEARS and I am very much looking forward to more films with him in the lead role. But, when it rains … it pours. Daniel Craig will star in the US adaptation of the Swedish film The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo at the end of this year … with 2 more films to follow. That means that Sony Pictures, which will produce both Dragon Tattoo and the Bond films, will have Craig workin’ overtime on both film franchises. Still, I’d rather have too many films than not enough. I know this is great news for fans of the James Bond film franchise … I know I, for one, am happy that more Bond films are on the way!