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Bond films’ future secured after MGM and WB agree deal – The Guardian

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Starting with Bones and All later this year, the two studios will jointly release MGM films in the US, while Warners will handle international releases
The future of the Bond movie series has been secured for at least the next five years after a major agreement between Hollywood studios MGM and Warner Bros.
The deal, which will take effect later this year with the cannibal romance Bones and All, means that Warner Bros will handle the international release of MGM’s films. MGM’s arrangement with Warner Bros is thought to run for three years, with an option for a further two.
The Bond series has been a key asset for MGM since 1981, when it purchased United Artists, the films’ first backers. The series as a whole, which currently comprises 25 films, is estimated to have taken $7.8bn at the global box office. The next Bond production, currently known as Bond 26, will not be included in the deal, as MGM already has an agreement for overseas distribution in place with Universal, another Hollywood studio (which also handled the most recent Bond release, No Time to Die) as well as Till, a film about lynching victim Emmett Till on which Broccoli is a credited producer. However, distribution rights to further Bond films come with its scope.
The agreement comes after a series of deals that MGM made to distribute its Bond films after it filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2010. MGM agreed a distribution deal with Sony to release Skyfall and Spectre, while No Time to Die was released in the US via United Artists, a joint venture it had established with indie studio Annapurna. MGM was then acquired by Amazon for $8.45bn in 2021. Warner Bros’ parent company Warner Media merged with Discovery in 2021, and has since been undergoing considerable upheaval, including the high profile cancellation of its Batgirl movie and selling its stake in UK TV channel GB News.
The deal arrives at a key moment as the Bond series seeks to maintain momentum after the difficulties that beset the most recent entry, No Time to Die. It was Craig’s fifth and final Bond film, with the production experiencing a number of delays after work began in 2016. Original director Danny Boyle left the project in 2018 after a dispute over the script, and after filming was completed under new director Cary Joji Fukunaga, its release was repeatedly delayed by the Covid pandemic. It eventually came out in September 2021, becoming the series’ third most successful film at the global box office (after Skyfall and Spectre).
Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson are currently deliberating over the replacement for Daniel Craig in the lead role. At an event in June to honour her and Wilson’s joint receipt of the BFI Fellowship, Broccoli said they were “working out where to go” and that a “reinvention of Bond” was being planned. She also said no script was in place and that “filming is at least two years away”.
There has been considerable speculation over who might take over the role, after Broccoli said in 2108 that Bond is “was written as a male and I think he’ll probably stay as a male”. Man of Steel’s Henry Cavill is the current bookmaker’s favourite to replace Craig, with Idris Elba and Bridgerton’s Rege-Jean Page also strongly backed. Lashana Lynch, whose character Nomi inherits the 007 codename after Bond’s retirement, is no longer thought to be in the running.


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