James Bond films head to Blu-ray

Six titles in the works; more to follow

One of the biggest movie franchises in history is coming to Blu-ray Disc. MGM, through distributor 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, is readying six James Bond films for worldwide release on the next-generation, high-definition disc format, and ultimately plans to bring the first 20 films in the 21-movie franchise to Blu-ray Disc.

The six films, including the first two installments in the franchise, 1962's "Dr. No" and 1963's "From Russia With Love," go on sale Oct. 21 in North America and Oct. 20 in the United Kingdom and other international territories. That's less than three weeks before the theatrical opening of the 22nd and latest James Bond movie, "Quantum of Solace."

Bond films have generated more than $1 billion in global boxoffice receipts. The 21st film in the franchise, 2006's "Casino Royale," debuted on BD in March 2007 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and remains one of the format's single biggest sellers.

"With 'Quantum of Solace' on the horizon, Bond fever is building once again, and there is no better time to reintroduce these beloved films ... to the more than 60 million HD-capable households worldwide," said Eric Doctorow, worldwide general manager for MGM Home Entertainment.

In addition to "Dr. No" and "From Russia With Love," the first wave of six James Bond films includes 1965's "Thunderball"; 1973's "Live and Let Die," the first Bond film in which Roger Moore replaced Sean Connery as the famed secret agent; 1981's "For Your Eyes Only"; and "Die Another Day," the 2002 film that marked Pierce Brosnan's final appearance as James Bond.

The films were chosen to be representative of the franchise's more than 40-year span, Doctorow said.