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Earlier this week James Bond studio MGM was purchased for $8.45 billion by tech giant Amazon. Since the announcement, movie fans have been wondering what the deal will mean for the film franchise going forwards, other than producer Barbara Broccoli’s commitment to keep making 007 movies for cinemas worldwide. Speaking exclusively with Express.co.uk, Bond expert and author Mark Edlitz, who has interviewed key franchise players over the years, weighed in on what he thinks will happen next.
Edlitz, most recently the author of The Lost Adventures of James Bond, admitted that the Amazon deal will have no impact on the 007 film franchise in the immediate future.
He said: “It will take time for the Amazon-MGM partnership to finalise and go through the regulatory approvals process. But more importantly, Amazon did not buy the franchise outright. Amazon is now in a partnership with EON.”
Bond fans will know that EON Productions is the UK based production company that has made the official 007 movies since 1962’s Dr No.
So now Amazon and EON own half of the rights each, but ultimately the latter organisation has the final say on changes.
Edlitz continued: “The creatives who work with EON have consistently reported that EON are generous and supportive collaborators.
“But ultimately, EON calls the shots. Still, there are many instances where EON has made concessions to support the wishes and mandates of their studio partners.
“The only way that Amazon can fully control Bond is if they buy out EON’s interest in the franchise. I do not see that happening. “
As for why, the expert shared how it’s simply the fact that the production company enjoys making Bond movies and are good at it.
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Edlitz said: “EON shows an incredible instinct in knowing what is in the best long-term interest of the franchise and they do it by always preserving and protecting the character.
“At its core, EON is a family business. Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson have taken the series to unprecedented heights since the days of Albert R Broccoli and Harry Saltzman.
“But I suspect that Cubby is never far from their thoughts and that they are proud to continue on his legacy.”
Despite EON being known for its traditional ways, the Bond expert previously told us he believes the producers aren’t afraid to take risks to evolve the franchise.
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The author told us: “Three-time Bond screenwriter Bruce Feirstein told me that Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson know where the dead ends are in the scripting stage. While Richard Maibaum, who wrote 13 Bond scripts, talked about the collaborative nature of writing a 007 film.
“The screenwriter said that he would sit in a room with producers Albert ‘Cubby’ Broccoli, Harry Saltzman, as well as the director, production designer and editor and everyone would pitch ideas.
“Everyone I’ve spoken with said that the producers are collaborative and are welcoming of new ideas. However, they’ve been down this road so many times and they have a responsibility to protect the long-term interests of the franchise.”
Director Danny Boyle and screenwriter John Hodge famously left Bond 25 over “creative differences”, although Edlitz is in the dark on what went on behind-the-scenes there.
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Nevertheless, Edlitz added: “But the Daniel Craig Bond films took risks that to some would seem unfathomable years before.”
And on where the 007 franchise could go next he said: “I think EON is clearly interested in experimenting and pushing the boundaries in what is expected in a Bond film.”
Interestingly, Broccoli teased the next reboot to Total Film last year saying: “It will have to be reimagined, in the way each actor has reimagined the role.
“That’s what is so exciting and fun about this franchise; the character evolves. Eventually, when we have to think about it, we’ll find the right person.”
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