The James Bond franchise is at a significant crossroads that might well be the most pivotal moment in the history of a series that celebrates the 60th anniversary of its first installment next year, all stemming from Amazon’s acquisition of MGM.
Even if you ignore the new ownership, there’s still the small matter of the title hero being recast once the Daniel Craig era draws to a close following the release of No Time to Die, and we could well be in the early stages of a potential power struggle between MGM’s new owners and longtime Eon heads Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli.
A new rumor claims that the streaming service are planning to refit 007’s next batch of adventures as the launchpad for a shared cinematic universe, and while that would seem to be the obvious method for expanding the mythology and maximizing the potential of the IP, don’t bet on it happening, because it can’t be understated just how much sway Wilson and Broccoli hold over the past, present and future of James Bond.
Critics of Eon have compared the duo to running a family business that just so happens to revolve around one of cinema’s most iconic figures as opposed to the valuable property that it is. Wilson and Broccoli have arguably more input on the direction of their franchise than any producer in the entire industry with the possible exception of Marvel’s Kevin Feige, and if they don’t want to play ball with Amazon then they technically don’t have to.
Not only have they repeatedly turned down offers from various studios and companies, including MGM, to use side characters for spinoffs and TV shows, but they’re committed to the theatrical experience for James Bond, as well as holding the cards when it comes to approving the marketing campaigns and distribution models, while they’ve also got the final say when it comes to casting the role, so if they’re not sold on a shared universe then Amazon would have a hefty obstacle to overcome.