Bond, James Bond … is a big, big deal. According to The New York Times, a quintet of movie studios—Sony, Warner Bros., Universal Pictures, 20th Century Fox, and Annapurna—are all vying for the rights to the British spy franchise, as Sony’s contract to market and distribute it ran out after 2015’s Spectre.
The Times notes that the atmosphere is similar to a mini-upfront: For example, pitching the two companies that hold the reigns to the franchise—MGM and Eon Productions—Sony laid out their case on a stage made to look like the Dr. No set. (The pair of studios who control the franchise do not market/distribute it, hence the search for a large studio partner to handle those duties.)
Despite regularly hauling in millions worldwide at the box office and being one of the most recognizable properties in movie history, what might be most surprising is how little money the deal would make for these five studios in the running, given that only a one-movie contract is on the table.
But as the Times rightly notes, Bond still has tremendous cachet all these years later, likely because “the Bond series was the first to go after a worldwide audience.” So it can’t be bad for a studio’s image.
Watch the “evolution” of James Bond below.