On episode 297 of Scriptnotes John August and Craig Mazen talk about the James Bond franchise now being a free agent and how several studios are fighting for it.
The James Bond franchise has been been based at Sony Pictures Entertainment for the past decade, releasing four Bond film since 2006. In 2015 Sony’s contract to market and distribute the franchise expired. So now five other studios; Sony along with Warner Bros, Universal Pictures, 20th Century Fox and Annapurna have began a tug-o-war for Bond. This is interesting because the two companies that own the franchise, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Eon Productions do not distribute their own films. MGM and Eon as of now are only offering a one film contract, which is not all that profitable for these studios. In the podcast they explain how these studios mostly want Bond under their name because Bond himself is a big name and it is a safe bet for a success at the box office. Even if the film is not critically liked its mostly likely will be a hit internationally. The studios would also want the hopes of continuing the franchise with sequels. They also describe how this contract might not be a good idea for studios because they would be forced to distribute, market and produce a film that they might not necessarily like or want but since The Broccoli Family at Eon productions gets the final say they will have to make it.
It is an interesting discussion about one of the most beloved Franchises and the pros and cons of wanting to distribute it. Similar to many comic book franchises before they were all under Marvel studios were similar in their contracts running out and other companies taking them with hopes of expanding the series or now the universe. Bond is a little different and in their own lane so it will be interesting to see if a certain distribution company will eventually have the influence a change for Bond in the future.
More detail in the full article here.