This week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly features a cover photo of Daniel Craig, with the ominous words, “Goodbye, Mr. Bond.” It’s enough to give diehard James Bond fans a seizure. Or at least feel like they’ve got a death laser pointed at their groin.
I touched on the issues with the James Bond franchise in my recent story on ‘The Hobbit’ for PopEater. The lowdown is that MGM, Bond’s longtime studio, is having money troubles. The studio’s been up for sale since last November.
“Due to the continuing uncertainty surrounding the future of MGM and the failure to close a sale of the studio, we have suspended development on ‘Bond 23’ indefinitely,” the franchise’s producers declared in a statement on April 19, 2010. But in July, London’s Mirror reported a rumor that the suspension of ‘Bond 23’ had been turned into a cancellation.
I absolutely loved the most recent Bond film, 2008’s ‘Quantum Solace,’ which starred Daniel Craig (who’s signed on to star in the American remake of ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’). To me, the franchise looks downright healthy, notwithstanding these financial woes.
Rumors abound, including one that claims Time Warner offered to buy MGM for $1.5 billion. The studio is reportedly holding out for something closer to $2.5 billion. Spyglass and Lionsgate are also rumored to be exploring the possibility of a merger with MGM.
At any rate, I refuse to believe the James Bond franchise is dead. No matter what happens with the studios, 007 will be back bigger and stronger than ever when all is said and done, even if the next film stars Jaden Smith in a decade or two.
Images: Entertainment Weekly; MGM