Movies

James Bond universe ‘could be expanded’ as Amazon takes over MGM


James Bond has been acquired by Amazon in the deal (Picture: REX/Shutterstock)

The James Bond universe could be set to get a whole lot bigger, after Amazon’s acquisition of MGM.

The company has taken over the film studio, which is home to franchises including Bond, Rocky, Legally Blonde and Robocop for a whopping $8.4billion (£5.9bn).

Mike Hopkins, senior vice president of Prime Video and Amazon Studios, hinted that there are plans to revisit older films, explaining: ‘The real financial value behind this deal is the treasure trove of Intellectual Property in the deep catalogue that we plan to re-imagine and develop together with MGM’s talented team.’

Unlike most of MGM’s films, Bond is an ongoing franchise, and Shawn Robbins, Chief Analyst at Boxoffice Pro, has suggested that it could be expanded – so could we see a Bond spin-off in the future?

‘I think each franchise will be adapted to different needs,’ he told Metro.co.uk. ‘The James Bond series remains under control of the Broccoli family, who have already confirmed it will remain a theatrical-first property going forward.

‘To do anything differently would severely undermine 007’s worth. Amazon could, however, expand the brand into potential streaming branches that tie into the greater film universe.

No Time To Die - Trailer

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‘Other content like the Rocky and Creed franchises are also strongest as theatrical plays, but it remains to be seen how the new parent company strategises those and other inherited titles.

‘Effectively, this acquisition seems a bit more focused on initially expanding Prime’s library of legacy content rather than competing with top-tier studios on major blockbuster franchises outside of Bond – but that doesn’t mean Amazon can’t or won’t try to expand the cinematic value of what’s under their umbrella now while also growing their at-home footprint. Both can be done, but time will tell.’

If Bond’s universe was to be expanded, for example in a TV spin-off, however, producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson would need to agree – and they don’t seem to have been rushing to green-light any spin-offs so far.

Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson have described themselves as ‘custodians’ of Bond (Picture: WireImage)

However, they haven’t completely ruled them out.

‘We make these films for the audiences,’ Broccoli told Variety last year. ‘We like to think that they’re going to be seen primarily on the big screen. But having said that, we have to look to the future.

‘Our fans are the ones who dictate how they want to consume their entertainment. I don’t think we can rule anything out, because it’s the audience that will make those decisions. Not us.’

Legally Blonde was also included in the deal (Picture: Kobal/REX)

With the new deal, Prime Video’s offering will be boosted by about 4,000 films, as well as 17,000 TV shows, including The Handmaid’s Tale.

It is understood that the acquisition will not affect the release of No Time To Die.

‘We are committed to continuing to make James Bond films for the worldwide theatrical audience,’ said Broccoli and Wilson.

No Time To Die is finally set for release in September this year after a string of delays.

Shawn previously revealed to Metro.co.uk that the postponements could actually be a positive for the franchise, pointing out: ‘I tend to view the numerous delays as a possible upside for the film, and perhaps the global theatrical landscape at-large, rather than a disadvantage.

‘This was already a highly anticipated film as not just a Bond movie but also Daniel Craig’s final performance in the role after a very popular, 15-year run. The film had been generating strong pre-release interest with trailer releases before its initial delay due to the pandemic last year, and it still draws attention with each release date change and marketing surge.’

Still, here’s hoping it’s the last delay!

No Time To Die is released on September 30.


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