Apple, Amazon in the running to acquire 'James Bond' franchise

Owning the Bond brand comes with significant bragging rights
By @nessdoctor on
Actors Naomie Harris, Lea Seydoux, Daniel Craig, Monica Bellucci and Christoph Waltz (L-R) pose on stage during an event to mark the start of production for the new James Bond film "Spectre", at Pinewood Studios in Iver Heath, southern England D
Actors Naomie Harris, Lea Seydoux, Daniel Craig, Monica Bellucci and Christoph Waltz (L-R) pose on stage during an event to mark the start of production for the new James Bond film "Spectre," at Pinewood Studios in Iver Heath, southern England December 4, 2014. Reuters/Stefan Wermuth

Despite being a huge success, the path of the James Bond franchise has taken an unexpected turn. Amazon and Apple have recently emerged as the new bidders for the rights of the series after the franchise’s deal with Sony had expired, with Warner Bros leading to take over distribution.

Amazon and Apple are reportedly pursuing the franchise and are willing to spend as much cash as Warner Bros, if not even more to acquire the rights. MGM is also trying to pursue a deal for more than two years already, while Sony, Fox and Universal are equally in hot pursuit.

The emergence of Apple has reportedly been pushing MGM hard to close a deal. Amazon, on the other hand, shows that even digital giants acknowledge the Bond franchise as one of the biggest untapped brands. The entry of these players shows that there is more on the table than just distribution rights. The future of the franchise would depend on ongoing negotiations.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, new executives Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht are the frontrunners for Apple’s efforts in pursuing the franchise. The pair had earlier served as co-presidents of Sony Pictures Television and shocked many in the industry when they announced their departure for Apple.

The Telegraph reports that distributors do not really make much from the franchise. The 2014 Sony hacks even revealed that the company paid for half of the production costs for “Spectre,” wherein millions were spent for promotions. However, owning the brand comes with a significant foothold in the industry and significant bragging rights, which include the opportunity to create spin-offs and build an entire movieverse.

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