The James Bond movie distribution rights are up for grabs, and there are some unusual bidders in the mix.
Through the release of Spectre in 2015, Sony had been the distribution partner for the James Bond films. With that deal now expired, a bidding war has begun for the rights beginning with the next film in the series, the 25th installment.
Right now the bidding includes traditional companies such as MGM, Universal, Fox, Sony and Warner Bros. Sources close to the negotiations say that Sony and Warner Bros. have been the most aggressive. However, according to The Hollywood Reporter, two new suitors have appeared, and they are sending shockwaves through the movie industry.
According to the report, both Amazon and Apple have entered the negotiations and are said to be putting forth proposals that match Warner Bros. Both are said to be willing to bid substantially more to get into the James Bond business.
This is intriguing because neither of these companies are known for being big Hollywood players. While Amazon has had success with smaller indie films such as Manchester by the Sea, that’s a drop in the bucket compared to distributing something as huge as James Bond. As for Apple, while it’s starting to lay the groundwork for entering the entertainment space, taking over the James Bond franchise would be like learning to drive in a Bugatti Veyron.
While Apple as a company does not have a track record in this sort of venture, it has been hiring people for some time that are experienced in this space.
Even if Amazon and Apple are unsuccessful in their bids, this is going to send shockwaves through the film industry. Clearly there are two new players in the game, and they’re playing for keeps. Why take the long road of building up a reputation when you can use your giant war chests of money to just bulldoze your way into the party?