We’ve known for quite awhile that MGM wouldn’t be distributing Bond 23 itself. Recent reports linked MGM’s golden egg to Paramount and another to 20th Century Fox. According to Deadline, Paramount has dropped out because they were unwilling to go any lower for the distribution fee and because apparently MGM wanted a piece of another franchise that Paramount didn’t want to give up.
Taking the top spot again is Sony Pictures who is said to be on the verge of sealing the deal. Sony has long sought 007 going back to at least the 90s when they teamed up with Kevin McClory for an attempt at yet another Thunderball remake. They got what they wanted when they teamed up to distribute Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. According to Deadline, Sony’s strategy to win Bond 23 was described at one point as “pleading” and thus have agreed to most of MGM’s demands.
The new deal will likely be a big one. Not only will Sony distribute Bond 23, but they could also get worldwide theatrical rights to other upcoming MGM films and home distribution rights to Bond as well as to other MGM properties. Those home video rights are currently in the hands of 20th Century Fox. Also expect a deal to be announced where MGM will be co-financing a number of Columbia films which should bring MGM some much needed cash flow. The first movie that will likely fall under this deal is David Fincher’s upcoming English adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s novel The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo which also stars Daniel Craig.
One final note is that Freida Pinto from Slumdog Millionaire is mentioned in the article as a potential Bond girl. It’s another rumor anyway.
Bond 23 will be released on 9 November 2012. The film will be directed by Sam Mendes from a script written by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and John Logan. So far Daniel Craig and Judi Dench are the only actors known to be cast.