1. Report: Spyglass close to running MGM

    By Kevin Wells on 2010-08-10

    A report fresh from the Wall Street Journal states that Spyglass Entertainment’s co-heads Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum are close to a deal to run MGM Studios and that an official announcement on the deal could made as early as this week.

    Under the deal both Barber and Birnbaum would run MGM as co-chief executives after MGM concludes a prepackaged bankruptcy set to begin mid-September when its latest debt waiver expires. The paper claims that MGM hopes to exit bankruptcy after two months. Spyglass would also merge parts of its film library with the MGM library and receive a 4% stake in the reorganized MGM. Surprisingly, the deal would also see MGM’s creditors forgiving the studio’s $4 billion debt in exchange for the bulk of the restructured studio’s new equity. MGM is said to be valued at $1.9 billion.

    It’s unknown how this deal will immediately effect the James Bond franchise, if approved, though assuming financing becomes available Bond 23 could be back on track and start shooting in time for a late 2011 release. That is barring any major scheduling conflicts. Director Sam Mendes is currently prepping a screen adaptation of Ian McEwan’s novel On Chesil Beach while Daniel Craig was recently signed to star in the anticipated adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which will begin filming later this year. Craig is also currently shooting Cowboys & Aliens, for which he has an option for a sequel.

    A number of MGM productions have also stalled due to MGM’s financial problems, the biggest being Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit followed by Dan Bradley’s (second unit director on Quantum of Solace) Red Dawn remake that has been partially shot but remains unfinished.

    Keep watching for all the latest Bond 23 developments.

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