Sony Inks Deal With MGM to Release Next Bond Film
Sony Pictures, which released the last two James Bond movies, has struck a deal with MGM to co-finance and distribute worldwide the next Bond, still known only as Bond 23.
With Bond 23 set for release on Nov. 9, 2012, Sony and MGM also plan to join forces for the next film in the ongoing series, Bond 24, under a similar arrangement.
As part of the deal, announced Wednesday by MGM’s Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum and Sony’s Michael Lynton and Amy Pascal, MGM and Sony are also exploring co-financing deals on future movies produced by each of the studios during the next five years.
Although not mentioned in the announcement, MGM is expected to co-finance Sony's The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, which will be released Dec. 21. There has also been speculation the two companies could join forces for the upcoming Total Recall, although no deal appears to be in place yet on that title.
MGM, which is rebuilding as it emerges from bankruptcy, had sounded out a number of studios about a distribution deal for its upcoming Bond movie, which will be directed by Sam Mendes and once again star Daniel Craig. While talks with Paramount broke down when that studio declined to go below an 8 percent distribution fee and wouldn’t agree to partner on other films, Sony moved to the head of the list to capture the Bond distribution rights.
Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson already had a comfort level with Sony, which played a role in re-launching the Bond franchise with 2006’s Casino Royale, which grossed $599 million worldwide, followed by 2008’s Quantum of Solace, which collected $577 million.
“Sony Pictures is the ideal studio partner for us as MGM re-enters the filmmaking business. We have longstanding relationships with Michael and Amy and look forward to what promises to be a prosperous future together,” Barber and Birnbaum said.
“In addition to working together on Bond, this deal expands our relationship with MGM as we explore co-financing opportunities on other high-profile projects,” Lynton said.
The new Bond movie will join a high-profile 2012 slate at Sony that also includes Men in Black 3 and The Amazing Spider-Man, as well as I Hate You, Dad, starring Adam Sandler; Here Comes the Boom, starring Kevin James; 21 Jump Street; Resident Evil 5; and Total Recall.