The price tag for 007 could be getting more zeroes thanks to Apple and Amazon reportedly showing interest in distributing the famed James Bond film franchise.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the tech giants with big Hollywood aspirations have entered the race against traditional players such as Warner Bros., Sony, Universal and Fox. MGM, which controls the rights to Bond along with Eon, has been looking for a new distribution deal since its pact with Sony ran out after 2015’s “Spectre.”
The report calls the Bond franchise an “untapped brand” that could act as a game changer for content providers, and that Apple and Amazon being in the hunt could indicate that more is in play than just film rights. LucasFilm and the Star Wars franchise are cited as an example, as Bond, which is limited to just theatrical movies, is called vastly underutilized by today’s standards, where properties are exploited on all mediums and merchandise and spin-offs are the norm.
A THR insider puts the value of Bond at anywhere between $2 billion and $5 billion.
“Skyfall,” the biggest earner in the 55-year history of the franchise, grossed $1.1 billion worldwide in 2012. The 2015 follow-up “Spectre” earned $881 million. Star Daniel Craig is signed for another film, set for November 2019.
Amazon Studios, which won three Academy Awards this year, is going to release Woody’s Allen’s next film, “Wonder Wheel,” without relying on a distribution partner like it has in the past.