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Amazon, Apple pursuing James Bond franchise
September 10, 2017, 1:56 pm

Amazon and Apple are said to be vying for the distribution rights for the next Bond films, alongside current leading bidder Warner Bros. This marks a paradigm shift in the way that Hollywood has traditionally distributed movies and places the tech giants in the same league as Sony, Universal and Fox, all of which have been talking to MGM, the owners of the distribution rights, following the expiration of its distribution deal with Sony after the 2015 release of the Bond movie Spectre.

Sources in the know 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 reportedly poised to invest $1 billion in original content initiatives from next year, but the Bond franchise rights could be worth as much as $2 billion to $5 billion. Apple could also 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 moving to tech companies in the running. Still, it is an interesting window into what direction we might see streaming services take as they compete for creative real estate and audience eyeballs.

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