Apple and Amazon reportedly pursuing James Bond franchise rights
A new report from The Hollywood Reporter claims that Apple and Amazon are vying for the distribution rights for the next Bond films, right alongside current leading bidder Warner Bros. This represents a potentially huge change in the way Hollywood distributes movies, of course, and puts Amazon and Apple in the same competitive bucket as Sony, Universal and Fox, all of which have been talking to MGM following the expiration of its distribution deal with Sony after Spectre‘s 2015 release.
THR’s sources say that both Amazon and Apple are offering as much, if not more than the traditional studios for the Bond rights. It claims Apple’s new film and TV executives Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht are leading the charge on the company’s behalf, and that the tech giant might be looking to strike an ever broader deal, including potential TV rights.
Apple was said to be investing $1 billion in original content initiatives next year, but the Bond franchise rights could be worth as much as $2 billion to $5 billion, per the report. It could set up the creation of a broader cinematic universe behind the character, similar to those being established by Disney for Marvel’s superheroes and the Star Wars saga.
This could still very easily result in no deal, or a different arrangement that sees film rights to go a traditional studio and TV or other content development licensing agreements struck with the tech companies int he running. Still, it’s an interesting window into what direction we might see streaming services take as they compete for creative real estate and audience eyeballs.