The producers of the James Bond franchise, Eon Productions’ Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, say that despite the Amazon acquisition of MGM, the 007 movies will still play in theaters.
“We are committed to continuing to make James Bond films for the worldwide theatrical audience,” Broccoli and Wilson said in a statement given to Variety. A rep for Eon Productions did not respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.
Eon Productions is owned by the Broccoli family, which has shepherded the James Bond franchise of films dating all the way back to the original 007 film “Dr. No” in 1962. The studio has a unique deal in which Broccoli and Wilson have final say on the franchise’s marketing and distribution plans, as well as splitting the profits with MGM and in selecting who will be the next person to portray James Bond, including whenever Daniel Craig steps away from the role.
It was expected that Broccoli and Wilson would insist for a theatrical release for the 007 films and the upcoming “No Time to Die,” the 25th movie in the franchise. And thus far the producers have refused to do any TV spinoffs of James Bond or relinquish creative control. “No Time to Die” is currently due in theaters in November after being pushed back last year.
Amazon and MGM both announced on Wednesday that the tech giant would acquire the legendary movie studio for $8.45 billion. The deal represents tech giant Amazon’s biggest entry into the entertainment content business, as well as its second-largest acquisition behind its $13.7 billion deal to buy Whole Foods in 2017. The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.
MGM has a library that includes 4,000 film titles and 17,000 hours of TV programming, which allows its streaming service more content that will help it compete with rivals like Netflix, Disney and now the recent merger between WarnerMedia and Discovery.
Jeff Bezos also on Wednesday commented on his plans for the MGM film library, saying that Amazon would “reimagine and develop” the library for the 21st Century.
“The acquisition thesis here is really very simple: MGM has a vast deep catalogue of much beloved intellectual property. With the talented people at MGM and the talented people at Amazon Studios, we can reimagine and develop that IP for the 21st century. It’s going to be a lot of fun work, and people who love stories are going to be the big beneficiaries,” Bezos said Wednesday during Amazon’s shareholder meeting, which was held just hours after the deal was announced.
Variety first reported the news.