Tag Archives: James Bond

MGM to partner with Annapurna in US distribution

Today, in a not very surprising move (things were roumored around for a while now) MGM and Annapurna announced a deal in US movie distribution.

On MGM site the announcement says:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) and Annapurna Pictures (Annapurna) have formed a new joint venture for theatrical distribution in the U.S., it was announced today by Gary Barber, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. and Megan Ellison, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Annapurna Pictures.

The move marks the return to U.S. theatrical distribution for MGM, and the continued expansion of Annapurna, who launched their marketing and distribution arm earlier this year. While Annapurna and MGM will share funding for the joint venture’s operations, each studio will retain creative control over their individual projects. The marketing and distribution team established at Annapurna will facilitate campaigns for all MGM titles, which will be distributed under the MGM banner. Annapurna produced films will continue to be distributed under Annapurna’s already established label.

But what does this mean for Bond? Well, even if the announcement itself invites to calm down on Bond (Worldwide distribution plans for the 25th installment of the long-running James Bond franchise, produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, will be announced at a later date.) we all know that this means that MGM is going to return to distribute the movie by itself (well, sort of).

This opens to a wide variety of thoughts: while this deal means that MGM will have a quite total control all over the movie creativity stage, with no more interference regarding the choices of directors, actors, but most important, of, for example, the brands of the piece of equipment the Spy and his teammates are going to use (we explored all the scenarios here), and we all know, by the news, that reportedly Sony wasn’t considered exactly the best option for technology by some of the parts involved, prior to SPECTRE.

It is not all sunshine and puppy dogs, tough. While the studio will have total creative control, a huge amount of money that came from the distributor will be missed. At this point, there are two possibilities: MGM will decrease the budget, and go (relatively) low cost or, and that is the option I’d bet my money on, will put its own money, betting on an (another) huge success to start the next chapter without Craig with a load of cash to use.

This announcement will also impact the director choice. While Villenevue has heavily hinted that the job has been offered to him, but due to some other projects constraint he was still reluctant to accept, now Kathryn Bigelow, Award winning director, linked to the company, could jump in as a front runner.

What we can do at the moment is speculate and wait. We’ll keep you posted

Editor Thoughts: future of product placement

Today we inaugurate a new column, Editor Thoughts. In this column we will discuss the most various Bond related themes, no news but only reflections. And we start with one of the most debated movie subjects, one of the most followed for Bond fans: the product placement.

As we all know, bond has a particular history with product placement. Not always (almost never) a brand is requested by producer to pay to be included in the movie. In fact, they often ask the brand to create a comarketing campaign to advertise the new movie. That is the case of CocaCola in Skyfall, or Aston Martin in SPECTRE.

But what can we expect to happen in the next installment due to arrive in the theaters in the fall of 2019? Probably we will see some changes, while some brands will remain pillars in the Bond franchise. We surely will have Omega on board (they just presented a new Bond inspired watch, but we won’t see it in the movie) probably with a dive watch of the Seamaster series and with one of the ’57 riedition, Seamaster or Railmaster (you can see them in the image below, alongside the third Omega’s battle horse, the Seamaster).

Omega 1957 Trilogy (source: omegawatches.com)
Omega 1957 Trilogy (source: omegawatches.com)

Also for the car, we should be pretty locked. We can expect Aston Martin to continue its lifelong journey with James Bond, with a new model expected to be developed specially for 007, as the DB10 was. We also expect to see (again) the DB5 on stage, seeing how SPECTRE ended. We can also expect the “brand extension” relationship to continue, with Jaguar and Range Rover onboard too. Nothing new from this side.

Changes could come from 007 clothing. For the last 3 movies, beginning with Quantum of Solace, lead costume brand for Daniel Craig was Tom Ford, with both Louise Frogley (Quantum of Solace, here you can find a very good article from our good friend of jamesbondlifestyle) and Jany Temime (Skyfall, SPECTRE) working with the american brand to adapt the collections, both elegant and casual, for the spy purposes. With them, a lot of other brands were involved during last movies, like Barbour, Matchless, N.Peal, Sunspel, just to mention some.

Jany Temime with some SPECTRE costumes (source:dailyrecord)
Jany Temime with some SPECTRE costumes (source:dailyrecord)

The choice of what brand to use is strictly related to the choice of the Costume Designer. If EON will remain faithful with the direction they’ve taken, that I personally love, I can clearly see Miss Temime returning, along with Tom Ford. If they will go down a different route, we could experience some major changes: a lot of fashion brand would love to get in the mix with Bond, and maybe a fresh new italian style could be good for the show. We’ll see.

What will almost certainly change is the technological stuff. Ever since Sony was in charge of distributing Bond movies, we saw MI6 agents and staff with smartphones, laptops, even cameras, provided by the japanese producer. Since, as we all know too well, the distribution contract expired with SPECTRE, and since all the indications point to a change of direction, we can all expect 007 to change his smartphone very soon.

What could happen now? We all know that Daniel Craig seems to like Samsung for his character, and I can definitely see Bond handling a Galaxy S8. In general terms, Samsung produces quite stilish phones, that can suits well in a movie like this.

Of course, talking about this, we have to mention Apple, but honestly i can’t see them spending big money on something like this at the moment, so I think MI6 will continue to buy in Asia.

To close, we have that one piece of furniture that will never grow old and will be there with him, whoever he is portraing him, and wherever he is going: the Walther PPK will always be in James Bond’s holster.

For every curiosity you could have on products seen in James Bond’s movies, I can only redirect you to the most equipped and specialized website on the matter, James Bond Lifestyle, you will appreciate it a lot. Have fun!

 

Craig is returning! (Adele too!)

The Mirror broke the story, Daniel Craig is set to return for another movie as the most beloved spy of Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

The British newspaper says to have sources inside the production affirming that Barbara Broccoli was able to secure the Liverpool actor at least for one more outing as James Bond, with Rachel Weisz, his wife, on board to have him away filming for one more year.

But news aren’t finished. It seems the powerful EON producer is pushing to recreate the combination Actor-Singer we had for Skyfall. She is positive to have British singer Adele to sing once again the title song.

You can find the complete Mirror article here

We will keep you informed as news come.

Purvis and Wade to write Bond 25!

It has been reported by Baz Bamigboye on his twitter account (and in this Daily Mail article that Neal Purvis and Robert Wade have been hired to write once more a Bond film.
Bamigboye, Daily Mail columnist, is usually very reliable when it comes to Bond movies’ news.
He also adds that Daniel Craig has still not cleared his mind on wheter he will continue his tenure as Bond or not. In the same article, Bamigboye highlights that Daniel Craig, 49, seems to be more inclined to continue, at least one more time, as the most famous british spy.

Purvis and Wade inked six Bond movies, often with other authors, and are a well oiled couple when it comes to know how to write a Bond movie. There have been several rumors in the past of disagreements between the two and Bond production in the past, maybe the most famous one when John Logan was reportedly called to adjust the Skyfall script. But they were brought back in for the next installment, SPECTRE, when the screenplay wrote by Logan seemed in need to be fixed.

So here we are, first fresh news about Bond 25, and first hints of a possible late 2018 release, with a late 2017 start for the filming.
We will see what will go on.

Something is moving: B25 production acquires an helicopter

Something is finally happening.
As our friend at The Bond Bulletin are reporting, the Bond 25 production has bought an Helicopter Bell UH 1D from the Avation Museum in Wernigerode, in Germany.
It seems it will be used to film the new Bond movie.
Someone in the museum has also confirmed the helicopter should be flown to Heatrow today.
Also, the companies house seems to confirm that the production is going to release a statement in May.
So, after more than a year of no news, maybe we are going to have something soon.
Exciting times ahead.
We will keep you posted.

Happy Global James Bond Day!

As all of you will know, today is the day that marks 54 years from the release of the first installment of the most beloved her majesty’s secret service’s agent.
IN fact, the 5th of October of 1962, Dr. No was released in theaters, giving the start to the franchise we all love.
So, enjoy this day, watch a good 007 movie, and stay tuned, big news are coming, first of all with the interview Daniel Craig will have in two days. Maybe we will have some answers there!

Is Daniel Craig returning after Spectre?

…we don’t know it.

But we can analyze some facts. (SPOILER AHEAD- Do not read if you have not seen SPECTRE)

Daniel Craig has just finished the promotion for his fourth outing as James Bond, Spectre. His words, when he was asked about returning after this film, are now infamously famous: “Now? I’d rather break this glass and slash my wrists” he answered, back in June, to the interviewer of Time Out magazine.

And these are the words all the newspapers of the world reported, speculating about the last outing of the Liverpool born actor as the most beloved agent of Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

What they accidentally forgot to mention, is the the answer Daniel gave to the next question the interviewer asked: You can find it here, along with the rest of the interview. You want to move on from Bond for good?
‘I haven’t given it any thought. For at least a year or two, I just don’t want to think about it. I don’t know what the next step is. I’ve no idea. Not because I’m trying to be cagey. Who the fuck knows? At the moment, we’ve done it. I’m not in discussion with anybody about anything. If I did another Bond movie, it would only be for the money.’

It’s clear that the man that is talking it’s an exhausted one. As you could probably understand, at the time of the interview, he had just finished shooting, after more than a year around the world, Mexico, Austria, Italy, Tunisia, London. Away from New York, away from his family. This could suffice to cut off any discussion about a new film, but more that this, this wasn’t a normal movie, this was a Bond movie, and a tough one. As we all know, Craig does a lot of his stunts himself, and doing this, he has often injured himself while filming. This movie isn’t different, he broke his knee while shooting some fight scene, and was so dedicated that continued filming whit the pain, until he had some time to undergo surgery.

So, this could be why he gave that answer in the first place. But let’s go deeper than this, let’s analyze why he could and should stay.

  1. Craig’s Bond isn’t done. After rebooting the series in 2006, slowly a lot of classic elements of the saga were reintroduced. But, even after Spectre, there isn’t that climax that could make Craig enter in the Olympus of the spy movies.
  2. Craig is a producer in Spectre. If EON gives this kind of opportunity to the actor, is to make him understand he is still valuable to them and they still need him. I can imagine they gave up a significant amount of money to add him as producer.
  3. Waltz’ Blofeld isn’t done yet. I mean, come on, we waited 44 years and then he lasts only 20 minutes? No way. And no way they keep Blofeld withouth keeping Craig.
  4. EON thinks they have Craig, as Michael Wilson clearly says here.
  5. We absolutely a proper adaption of You only live twice. I mean, you could change Japan with wherever you want, change the castle with a laboratory, change the poisonous plants with terrible plutonium, but give us Irma Bunt, give us Shatterand, and give us a fantastic last outing of Craig as James Bond 007, than replace him.
  6. We have some little information, not verified, that in the end he is going to return.
  7. A new distributor, given the expiration of the contract with Sony, will want to start big, and they only be sure of it by keeping Craig.
  8. Craig doesn’t seem too convinced to leave

So, Craig must stay, and we need a new Bond before the end of the 2017. Tempus fugit, they say.