Apple, Amazon join race for James Bond franchise rights

“The James Bond sweepstakes has taken an unexpected turn,” Tatiana Siegel and Borys Kit report for The Hollywood Reporter. “While Warner Bros. remains in the lead to land film distribution rights to the megafranchise — whose deal with Sony expired after 2015’s Spectre — a couple of unlikely suitors have emerged that also are in hot pursuit: Apple and Amazon.”

“The tech giants are willing to spend in the same ballpark as Warners, if not much more, for the rights, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter,” Siegel and Kit report. “GM has been looking for a deal for more than two years, and Sony, Universal and Fox also had been pursuing the property, with Warners and Sony the most aggressive.”

“But the emergence of Apple — which is considered such a viable competitor that Warners is now pressing MGM hard to close a deal — and Amazon shows that the digital giants consider Bond one of the last untapped brands (like a Marvel, Pixar or Lucasfilm) that could act as a game-changer in the content space,” Siegel and Kit report. “Apple’s and Amazon’s inclusion in the chase would indicate that more is on the table than film rights, including the future of the franchise if MGM will sell or license out for the right price.”

“Sources say newly arrived executives Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht are spearheading the effort on Apple’s behalf. Given their background (the pair served as co-presidents of Sony Pictures Television and shocked the industry when they announced in June that they were leaving for Apple), this would suggest that Apple is interested in cutting a larger rights deal or acquiring full ownership to exploit Bond’s largely unmined TV potential,” Siegel and Kit report. “Valuation of the franchise may be anywhere between $2  billion and $5  billion, says an insider.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: There is so much more than can be done with the enduring James Bond franchise than has been done to date. We’ll see just how serious Apple is this time around with professionals Van Amburg and Erlicht finally on the case up against Amazon et al.

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    1. Why Apple.

      The trackpads on the new MacBook Pros are too big and buggy. Battery life not great. The TouchBar is a low resolution gimmick.

      The Apple Watch battery life sucks, and the device has too small a screen.

      Many more issues…

      There are so many core computing problems to solve how can Apple justify branching off into buying the rights to James Bond? What a bloody distraction.

      1. I never use the Trackpads on my Mac Book Pro unless I have to. Never liked them. Still prefer the great trackball on the Powerbook 170! (Yes I am an old timer.)

        I find the battery on the Apple Watch 1st Gen perfectly fine. Do you really think Apple could market a Watch with a larger face with it looking strange? Never say never but the ergonomics and styling suggest unlike the iPhone a larger Watch would look ridiculous.

        Well theoretically (as we saw didn’t seem to happen with the Mac Pro) one would hope Apple has a dept. dedicated to media acquisitions and building a network that simply reports to Tim Cook. Cook is “distracted” daily by the many things he has to juggle (like every CEO) so what’s one more? The trick is hiring competent people and delegating authority – to a point. Still one wonders how Steve would’ve handled all this.

        I understand your concerns though. What Apple does need to work on is getting the right people (even if firing legacy employees in a false loyalty notion) in charge of their relative departments and most problems should then vanish. Oh and advertise more and well.

        1. Apple hasn’t been able to pull off media ever. As for tech, Timmy’s products are now being touted as good enough for most people. There is nothing in Timmy’s portfolio that justifies a Pro label, especially at the prices Apple charges. The Mac lineup is weak, and Apple doesn’t even have the ability to maintain iPods, Airports, displays, or accessories. Apple is now a fashion house primarily interested in selling iPhones and raking in an easy 30% cut of app sales. The complacency is obvious. All the app store proceeds are going into buildings, executive bonuses, and Foxconn expansion. Former professional Mac users have been treated like dirt.

  1. i have my grave doubts about Eddy Cue being able to handle such a responsibility. He is lazy and living of the gravy train for a good few years now. Tim Cookie needs to push him to get work done and not leave him alone to get on with it, cause Eddy is lazy

  2. Deals are not always just about the amount of money but also how well the licensee will handle the franchise. Apple with comparatively very little experience in the area may have to pay significantly more to secure the rights than any of the others since they have little in their video media portfolio to convince the license holders.

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