For over two years, MGM is in negotiations with Warner Bros and Sony to sell off the distribution rights to the James Bond series. Considered as one of the untapped brands in the entertainment industry, it now looks like there are few more entrants in the race. Tech giants Apple and Amazon are also vying for the 007 franchise now.
Both, Apple and Amazon are aggressively expanding their digital streaming initiatives and they feel the addition of a brand like 007 will boost up its value. In an exclusive report on The Hollywood Reporter, it has been revealed that both "Apple's and Amazon's inclusion in the case would indicate that more is on the table than film rights, including the future of the franchise if MGM will sell or license out for the right price."
An insider also told THR that the valuation for the 007 brand is between $2 billion and $5 billion. Meanwhile, post the release of Spectre in 2015, Sony seems to be have backed off a little from the deal as the studio received only a quarter of profits despite covering half of the production costs, reports The New York Times. The report further added that MGM and Eon are only looking for a one-film deal with the winning bidder. However, there would be a possibility for a distribution partnership which would provide an upper hand for Apple or Amazon in the streaming market.
Among the two tech giants, Amazon seems to be more strong with their contents while Apple is ready to burn more money. While this may be true, a report on The Verge also pointed out that Bond producers Eon have a traditional outlook towards a film's release and would prefer a theatrical release.
MGM is working on its 25th James Bond film that has been scheduled to premiere in 2019, with Daniel Craig back as the Bond-man.