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MGM: 007 films to come out on a 3-4 year cycle


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#1 Napoleon Solo

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Posted 26 March 2016 - 03:18 PM

MGM said on a conference call this week that Bond movies will come out every three to four years and "there's no rush" to negotiate a new 007 distribution deal.

http://bit.ly/1LPoFmb

Recording of the conference call can be found here. The key comments start around the 28:00 mark during the Q&A session:

http://www.mgm.com/#...estor-relations



#2 Dustin

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Posted 26 March 2016 - 03:57 PM

Thank you for the heads up, Napoleon Solo; most appreciated!

"There is no rush" - if you run that phrase through the google translator into simple English it comes out as: there is no candidate left willing to meet our terms. By taking the foot off the accelerator MGM probably hopes to get the suitors into a more cooperative mindset...

It would seem the terms of the MGM/Sony deal are now no longer considered acceptable for the studio side; any studio's side. Candidates apparently either want greater creative influence - which is not within MGM's powers to grant - or a bigger piece of the cake, which MGM will be unwilling to give since it effectively has to last them for the best part of their hibernation period without Bond. And some no doubt will want both.

#3 Napoleon Solo

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Posted 26 March 2016 - 04:07 PM

When Sony did the deal for Bond 23 and 24, it was kind of desperate. In one of the emails that came out with the Sony hacks, Amy Pascal commented about how Sony didn't actually own the characters of its two biggest franchises (Bond and Spider-Man). Sony gave up a ton to keep Bond. 
 

Still, Sony took half the risk and got only a quarter of the profit. I would think any studio looking to replace Sony would want a better deal than that. We'll see how it goes. 



#4 Dustin

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Posted 26 March 2016 - 04:45 PM

I imagine at least one studio would hope to strike a fast deal and continue with Craig on board. Opening a horizon of up to four years into the future might make Craig's return less likely - probably for BOND 25 and certainly for any production following.

The Sony deal itself was a child of a different time for sure. But as long as the returns met expectations they didn't exactly complain. Only now it becomes an embarrassing situation since most insiders seem to agree that they ran with open eyes into less than favourable terms. Of course they'd be a good deal tougher in negotiations today - and any contenders would laugh at MGM's demands from the go, just out of principle.

#5 Tiin007

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Posted 27 March 2016 - 12:54 AM

I imagine at least one studio would hope to strike a fast deal and continue with Craig on board. Opening a horizon of up to four years into the future might make Craig's return less likely - probably for BOND 25 and certainly for any production following.
 

 

I've been wondering about this myself.

 

On the one hand, as you say, Craig isn't getting any younger, and another mammoth break of four years could mean the start of a new Bond era.

 

On the other hand, had a new distributor signed on with a demand that Bond 25 be produced as soon as possible, it's likely Craig will either be busy with his other commitments or still be recovering from the hectic SPECTRE schedule. Either of those options may have resulted in recasting. So it's entirely possible that a three or four year wait may, somewhat counter-intuitively, enable the return of Craig.

 

What does everybody else think? Would a longer wait make it more or less likely for Craig to return?



#6 coco1997

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Posted 27 March 2016 - 02:47 AM

What does everybody else think? Would a longer wait make it more or less likely for Craig to return?

 

If we're in for quite possibly another four year wait, I feel it would be best from a business perspective for EON to move on and start fresh with a new actor. The only logical reason for Craig to come back at this point would be to wrap up the loose ends from SPECTRE, but in four years' time Craig will be 51-52, and the average moviegoer will have likely forgotten about the events of SPECTRE.



#7 tdalton

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Posted 27 March 2016 - 04:10 AM

Thank you for the heads up, Napoleon Solo; most appreciated!

"There is no rush" - if you run that phrase through the google translator into simple English it comes out as: there is no candidate left willing to meet our terms. By taking the foot off the accelerator MGM probably hopes to get the suitors into a more cooperative mindset...

It would seem the terms of the MGM/Sony deal are now no longer considered acceptable for the studio side; any studio's side. Candidates apparently either want greater creative influence - which is not within MGM's powers to grant - or a bigger piece of the cake, which MGM will be unwilling to give since it effectively has to last them for the best part of their hibernation period without Bond. And some no doubt will want both.

 

Agreed.  This isn't surprising.  I can't imagine that MGM could have possibly thought that any studio out there would sign on for the lopsided deal that Sony went in for.  If they are holding out for that kind of deal, we might not see a new Bond film for a while.  

 

I almost think that if EON were smart, they might sit on the Bond franchise for a while and force MGM either into bankruptcy or to sell off their interest in the franchise.  It seems every few years we have to deal with these shenanigans because Bond is literally the only thing keeping MGM afloat.



#8 SecretAgentFan

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Posted 27 March 2016 - 08:10 AM

I believe the base of this quote is a mix of various aspects:

 

1. MGM found no suitors who would meet their demands - which is not surprising in this increasingly volatile business.

 

2. MGM is trying to appear relaxed - which it isnĀ“t since recent reports have suggested that it was SPECTRE which saved its slate with all other films (minus CREED which did bring a nice little profit) bombing terribly.  To remain solvent they need more Bond films, the sooner the better.  Wait for another three and four years... and MGM is in deep water.

 

3. EON will not produce a new Bond film every two years - the logistics just seem to be too complicated and exhausting.

 

4. Craig does not really want to return - which will complicate negotiations AND development for BOND 25 since EON also has to look for a replacement and tailor a script to a situation in which either the old or a new actor will work.

 

In any event, I believe that Craig will not return.  And the ending of SPECTRE clearly was designed for him to leave.  The average tenure of a successful Bond actor seems to stop at 10 years anyway, so...



#9 Guy Haines

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Posted 27 March 2016 - 08:32 AM

The more I think about it, however much I don't want it to happen (yet!) the more I think that SPECTRE probably was Daniel Craig's final Bond film.

The whole story arc from his first mission as a Double 0 has been leading up to a meeting with his arch nemesis. Had the legal issues not been resolved it would have been the shadowy head of Quantum, but they were resolved and so we had him meet Blofeld and SPECTRE instead. He defeats both - well Blofeld at least - but having lost his leading ladies through death because of his job and way of life - including in a different definition of leading lady, Judi Dench's M - he falls for the daughter, of all people, of his arch enemy Mr White, sees a last chance to break this cycle of death and destruction, and leaves, with her. (It is as much Madeleine falling for Bond though!)

The ending of SPECTRE, whilst not entirely satisfactorily handled - too rushed is the common complaint I've heard - is symbolic, the building representing Bond's life and career in ruins, caused in a slow burn by the author of all his pain, Ernst Stavro Blofeld. But Bond redeems himself - or thinks he has, in the eyes of an assassin's daughter who hates her father's sick life and sees Bond going down the same path - by not killing ESB and throwing his gun away. And finally, Bond gets the girl all to himself, in one piece, after nearly ten years of trying!

I can see it now. From raw recruit to veteran and finally contented man.

If Craig returns this will all be upset, of course. Madeleine will either die or leave him, and Blofeld will have to be finally dealt with. But this ending allows Bond to go off into the dawn - either to return as Craig and further confront demons and deal with probable tragedy down the line - or return with a new actor in the role, as if the events from CR to SP had happened to "the other fella". ;-)

#10 Gobi-1

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Posted 27 March 2016 - 09:59 AM

 

Thank you for the heads up, Napoleon Solo; most appreciated!

"There is no rush" - if you run that phrase through the google translator into simple English it comes out as: there is no candidate left willing to meet our terms. By taking the foot off the accelerator MGM probably hopes to get the suitors into a more cooperative mindset...

It would seem the terms of the MGM/Sony deal are now no longer considered acceptable for the studio side; any studio's side. Candidates apparently either want greater creative influence - which is not within MGM's powers to grant - or a bigger piece of the cake, which MGM will be unwilling to give since it effectively has to last them for the best part of their hibernation period without Bond. And some no doubt will want both.

 

Agreed.  This isn't surprising.  I can't imagine that MGM could have possibly thought that any studio out there would sign on for the lopsided deal that Sony went in for.  If they are holding out for that kind of deal, we might not see a new Bond film for a while.  

 

I almost think that if EON were smart, they might sit on the Bond franchise for a while and force MGM either into bankruptcy or to sell off their interest in the franchise.  It seems every few years we have to deal with these shenanigans because Bond is literally the only thing keeping MGM afloat.

 

Maybe it's time for one of the studios to buy MGM outright. I'd go with Warner Bros since they control the pre-1986 MGM catalog. It would be nice to reunite the MGM library and not have to worry about Bond trying to keep them afloat.
 



#11 DavidJones

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Posted 27 March 2016 - 10:22 AM

This is annoying. Why can't they release films every two years? They did that, for the most part, for forty years. I think the franchise will be considered irrelevant by the average film goer if they have to strain to remember the last film.

#12 Agent 76

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Posted 27 March 2016 - 11:12 AM

Well in a way this was expected, the Bond franchise seems to be caugh up in these business shenanigans every few years, so this is another nuisance. I don't believe Craig will return now, and he'll maybe use this delay to jump ship, instead of cutting his wrists. ( :D )



#13 Dustin

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Posted 27 March 2016 - 11:22 AM

Well, in all fairness, this is going on for some years now. If it's frustrating for fans one can only imagine how it must feel on the inside of affairs...

#14 DisneyGets007

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Posted 27 March 2016 - 11:49 AM

 

Thank you for the heads up, Napoleon Solo; most appreciated!

"There is no rush" - if you run that phrase through the google translator into simple English it comes out as: there is no candidate left willing to meet our terms. By taking the foot off the accelerator MGM probably hopes to get the suitors into a more cooperative mindset...

It would seem the terms of the MGM/Sony deal are now no longer considered acceptable for the studio side; any studio's side. Candidates apparently either want greater creative influence - which is not within MGM's powers to grant - or a bigger piece of the cake, which MGM will be unwilling to give since it effectively has to last them for the best part of their hibernation period without Bond. And some no doubt will want both.

 

Agreed.  This isn't surprising.  I can't imagine that MGM could have possibly thought that any studio out there would sign on for the lopsided deal that Sony went in for.  If they are holding out for that kind of deal, we might not see a new Bond film for a while.  

 

I almost think that if EON were smart, they might sit on the Bond franchise for a while and force MGM either into bankruptcy or to sell off their interest in the franchise.  It seems every few years we have to deal with these shenanigans because Bond is literally the only thing keeping MGM afloat.

 

In my decision, I'd go with Disney since they teamed up with MGM to build theme park; in which is originally called 'Disney-MGM Studios' (now Disney's Hollywood Studios). Evidence found here: https://en.wikipedia...Studios#History.

 

No need to get Warner Bros for that. I understand that the true connections is: Disney were good at the box office (e.g. Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and MGM is quite good at the box office for Spectre as well. In theory, the box office connections between Disney and James Bond spanned 54 years. MGM, also, is a box office competitor of Walt Disney Pictures. Of course that MGM should reunite with Disney for a distribution deal, if so that could effectively replacing the DreamWorks deal in September after the new 007 distributor to be announced (unless they do if EON decided).

 

Also, fingers crossed.


Edited by DisneyGets007, 27 March 2016 - 11:49 AM.


#15 tdalton

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Posted 27 March 2016 - 11:53 AM

EON should stay as far away from Disney as possible.  



#16 coco1997

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Posted 27 March 2016 - 01:03 PM

EON should stay as far away from Disney as possible.  

Why do you feel that?



#17 tdalton

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Posted 27 March 2016 - 01:12 PM

 

EON should stay as far away from Disney as possible.  

Why do you feel that?

 

 

The idea of Disney getting creative input into Bond just sends shivers down my spine.  While they might not do it in the short term, eventually they'd destroy the character, making him a watered-down shell of his former shell, trying to make him a broader character that could appeal to more people in an effort to maximize merchandising, which is pretty much all Disney seems to care about.

 

And if Marvel is the template of what we could expect from Disney with regards to Bond, then no thank you.  While this would no doubt please many to hear, if Disney were to buy into the Bond franchise, my time with the franchise would be over.  



#18 Mr. Somerset

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Posted 27 March 2016 - 01:15 PM

RIP Daniel Craig era is how i feel about this. Not surprising, but it makes me think with longer waits and disappointing films, the series might as well just fizzle out. None of us are getting any younger, might I add. Also with every long gap each new film seems to try to prove Bond is relevant. That got old years ago. I miss the confidence of the Cubby era.



#19 coco1997

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Posted 27 March 2016 - 02:44 PM

And if Marvel is the template of what we could expect from Disney with regards to Bond, then no thank you.  While this would no doubt please many to hear, if Disney were to buy into the Bond franchise, my time with the franchise would be over. 

To quote Batman vs. Superman, "Most of the world doesn't share your opinion, Mr. Dalton." ;)

In all seriousness, Disney has allowed Marvel to build a huge monster of a franchise without much meddling. It would certainly be strange to hear the name Disney associated with 007, but the company has a proven track record of both commercial and critical success with Marvel and Star Wars. 

 

Obviously Disney is not the only option, but it is a viable one, IMO.



#20 Dustin

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Posted 27 March 2016 - 03:41 PM

I agree there, for me Disney would not be the end of 007's world. In fact I think much worse things might happen. Granted, Disney will want a certain key influence, but then any studio will want a place at the table. Simply because they don't want to end up on the menu...

As Coco points out, Disney's crushing weight seems not to have been a factor in Marvel's output. The Marvel films are the way they are because they are comic book entertainment translated to 21st century's big screen - not because they are Disney fodder. I have yet to see the Star Wars approach, but from what I hear no sacrilegious acts of vile consumerism have been committed - that would go beyond what the whole affair is about in any case.

About branching out, spin-offs and the like: this is simply how the game is played today, we cannot really blame the big players for giving us what we want. Would they try to push a similar idea across the table once they sit there with Eon? Likely, it wouldn't be the first time.

But if Eon were really prepared to cave in they could have done so years ago. I wager they don't; it makes no sense to keep fending off these approaches - no doubt supported by MGM from underneath its coffin lid - for so long and then give in. I expect they would then rather sell out for good. And I doubt anybody is prepared to meet their calling price. We mustn't forget, in this business having a partner with creative control also is a kind of insurance in case of disaster: the natural fall guy for the day the invested dollar returns only in the shape of 98 shabby cents...

#21 Hockey Mask

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Posted 27 March 2016 - 07:48 PM

There is a big difference between three and four years.

#22 tdalton

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Posted 28 March 2016 - 04:39 AM

If they actually commit to this 3-4 year gap between each film, then we could be potentially looking at the beginning of the end of the EON Bond franchise.  I'd have to wonder just how viable the franchise could remain if we're potentially only getting 2 films per decade.  

 

That would essentially turn the franchise into Mission: Impossible, but without the draw of a movie star of Tom Cruise's caliber to get people into the theater.



#23 SecretAgentFan

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Posted 28 March 2016 - 06:28 AM

As Dustin already pointed out, the 3-4 year gap is nothing new for Bond - and it never stopped interest.  One could argue that it is even necessary for Bond to remain an event to not have him available every two years.

 

As much as I would prefer the 2 year gaps - this might be the reality for now.

 

It could also change, however, if the next actor were willing to do more films at a quicker pace.  I do imagine Craig being scared of being typecast, not able to do other roles in between, having EON consider the longer gaps.

 

As for Disney - the Marvel films are a pretty good example for no destructive meddling.  Also, the way Disney runs things has changed enormously.  A watering down of Bond would not be what they want.  Disney wants strong brands with a built-in fanbase and then deliver this in the most effective way.  Bond would indeed fit in.



#24 sharpshooter

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Posted 28 March 2016 - 08:15 AM

Could mean they're willing to wait around for one more Craig outing, or Craig is done and the franchise is in hibernation. Either way, I'm resting my Bond fandom for now. I'm excited about the DC filmic universe, with Affleck, Cavill and Gadot. I liked BvS, and Suicide Squad also has my interest. This should keep me entertained for the time being.

#25 Dustin

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Posted 28 March 2016 - 12:09 PM

Well, there is a possibility we might hear this year of a new novel coming in 2017 or 2018. Other than that... who knows?

#26 tdalton

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Posted 28 March 2016 - 01:51 PM

As Dustin already pointed out, the 3-4 year gap is nothing new for Bond - and it never stopped interest.  One could argue that it is even necessary for Bond to remain an event to not have him available every two years.

 

 

If 4 years becomes the new normal, and there are only 2 films a decade, eventually they'll lose an audience.  Those films will still be events for us and those that were around when became fans under Brosnan and the earlier actors, but they're not going to gain many new fans when there's only two films per decade.  Younger people, who will latch on to other franchises that get their films out in a regular fashion, will latch onto those while Bond will be relegated to a bit of nostalgia that we get twice every ten years.  

 

I'm not saying that it always has to be a 2-year gap, but there needs to be some kind of regularity where we're not wondering about the future of the franchise after every other release, which seems to be the new normal the Bond franchise is currently operating under.



#27 DavidJones

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Posted 28 March 2016 - 02:00 PM

If they actually commit to this 3-4 year gap between each film, then we could be potentially looking at the beginning of the end of the EON Bond franchise.  I'd have to wonder just how viable the franchise could remain if we're potentially only getting 2 films per decade.  

 

That would essentially turn the franchise into Mission: Impossible, but without the draw of a movie star of Tom Cruise's caliber to get people into the theater.

 

I agree. Although there have been gaps before, those have been quite rare. The biggest gap between 1962 and 1989 was two and a half years between TMWTGG and TSWLM and that was with a very strong film.

 

Six years between LTK and GE had many, many people saying it was all over for Bond. The gap between DAD and CR saw the franchise reinvent itself.

 

However, I perceived the QoS and SF gap to go more or less unnoticed (based on purely anecdotal evidence).

 

Four year gaps on a regular basis would mean two movies a decade. With Mission Impossible, it's different because Cruise makes blockbusters inbetween. To an extent, when people go and see a new Mission Impossible film, they are just seeing "the latest Tom Cruise movie", which just happens to have him play a character he's played before (although it remains true that people do love M:I films).

 

If Eon are lazy enough to just do two films a decade, then Bond is dead for sure.



#28 Harmsway

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Posted 28 March 2016 - 03:56 PM

This doesn't sound like EON's choice. This sounds like MGM is trying to cover for legal difficulties.

#29 coco1997

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Posted 28 March 2016 - 04:09 PM

 

If Eon are lazy enough to just do two films a decade, then Bond is dead for sure.

 

It's not a matter of "laziness" but it appears that 3-4 years is the length of time MGM feels it takes to produce a quality Bond film these days. It's a shame we had to wait an extra year for SPECTRE because even that was full of flaws. However, if they're going to commit to an actor who's as volatile as Craig and who wants to pursue other potentially time consuming projects between Bond releases, then this may be what we're looking at from now on.



#30 Dustin

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Posted 28 March 2016 - 04:09 PM

I don't believe MGM has all the time in the world. It's perfectly possible they have to make some move within a given period of time, if only for appearances sake. Would be interesting to watch some foreheads now...




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