Now that Daniel Craig‘s final James Bond film is in very early development, there are various distributors vying for the right to release the film here in the States. Sony had been releasing James Bond films here in the U.S. since 2006’s Casino Royale. However, their deal expired after the release of 2015’s Spectre, leaving various studios ranging from Warner Bros. to Universal battling for the rights to distribute the next film under their banner. Now it looks like Annapurna could be the one to do so. More on the story below.
The report comes from Deadline, who says that MGM and Annapurna are currently in talks to work out a deal that would make the latter the team to be the one to release James Bond films domestically. It’s unclear where they are at this point, but it does make it that much closer to finding a distributor. The news follows that “MGM was joining forces with Annapurna in a joint venture.” So it makes sense that James Bond would be a part of that deal considering MGM holds the rights to the film with Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson.
However, finding an international distributor is another story. Still most of the key players like Broccoli and Wilson are going to be involved, as well as Erik Lomis, who will be handling domestic distribution, and Marc Weinstock, who will be responsible for the marketing for the domestic release. Fox currently handles the international distribution, but their deal to release James Bond films worldwide is about to expire. If and when it does, Warner Bros., Universal, and even Sony will be the ones to fight over it. According to Deadline, “Bond generates just over 70% of its overall box office revenues offshore.” So it makes sense why there are a number of studios eyeing Bond’s international releases.
We know that Bond 25 will be the final time that Craig plays the role of Agent 007. However, the film has yet to find a director. Yann Demange (’71), Denis Villeneuve (Blade Runner 2049), and David Mackenzie (Hell Or High Water) are among some of the frontrunners to helm the film. It’s unclear if any of the three want to take on the story that has already been established by directors like Martin Campbell and Sam Mendes – who helmed both Skyfall and Spectre. It’s not even clear if one of the three will be the one who ends up directing. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.