In a landmark deal, Amazon announced its acquisition of MGM for an immense $8.5bn in May 2021, bringing a ton of major media franchises and IPs under the corporate titan's oversight. That includes James Bond, which is soon going to celebrate the release of the latest outing of Daniel Craig as 007 in No Time To Die. ''
However, as rumors have cropped up, the producers stepped in to confirm that the series won't be getting a spin-off show for streaming.
This statement followed the deal closely because securing key IP to power Amazon Prime Video in the streaming wars is the main motivation behind the acquisition. With so many different streaming services popping up, the original promise of the format - a centralized source of all must-watch content accessible on-demand, as opposed to fragmented television services - has been defeated.
Now, rivals scramble to secure exclusive content that makes their service more appealing.
Being the exclusive home of the biggest and most recognized franchises in popular culture is the best way to ensure viewers with a limited budget will pick your service over others, alongside the production of exclusive original content. Acquiring MGM brings massive IP under the new owners' control, like movie classics and heavy hitters such as Gone with the Wind, Rocky, RoboCop or The Hobbit, and more recent television successes like The Handmaid's Tale.
With Amazon on the prowl for marketable brands to energize Prime Video with, 007 would seem like quite the catch - recognized virtually around the globe as the premiere spy franchise, James Bond commands a great deal of respect and popularity. However, long-time producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson are adamant that the series is sticking to movies only.
We make films. We make films for the cinema. That’s what we do. We’ve resisted that call for 60 years.
This, of course, is what the producers say now. Allegedly Broccoli, Wilson and the entire team behind No Time To Die retain full control over the franchise as before, and we don't suspect the new Amazon leadership will meddle until after the debut of the next film, however it is a question of when will the new owners try to exact control.
Skyfall and Spectre co-author John Logan has expressed concern over the merger and the future of the Bond franchise under the Amazon banner. There is no guarantee the company won't force the production of a 007 show for streaming later on, in order to strengthen their position in the race for the newest, biggest segment of the media market.
What happens if a bruising corporation like Amazon begins to demand a voice in the process? What happens to the comradeship and quality control if there’s an Amazonian overlord with analytics parsing every decision? What happens when focus groups report they don’t like Bond drinking martinis? Or killing quite so many people? And that English accent’s a bit alienating, so could we have more Americans in the story for marketability?
Nonetheless, the producers are adamant and confident that their positions won't be challenged, and that the James Bond franchise will continue as movies based on Ian Fleming's novels, and movies alone. Well, sort of - additional media is not unheard of, with some legendary video games being part of 007's adventures and I.O. Interactive working on a new one right now.
Daniel Craig will be donning the suit of the legendary spy for the last time in No Time To Die, and while he's said it's his swan song before, this time he seems to mean it. As for what the future of the franchise holds, the producers didn't want to discuss plans until after the latest movie has had its moment in the spotlight.
No Time to Die hits theaters on October 8, after being delayed more than a year.