After an absurd amount of back and forth, Daniel Craig has finally signed on to play James Bond another time. However, there's still quite a bit that needs to be figured out in the world of 007 -- such as where the rights to the franchise will end up by the time Bond 25 premieres. Now it looks as if there may be some significant developments on the horizon, as MGM and Annapurna Pictures are reportedly closing in on a deal to secure the domestic distribution rights to the Bond franchise.
After the release of Spectre in 2015, Sony's distribution rights for the Bond franchise expired. This caused a massive bidding war between a variety of entertainment giants like Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox. After all, most studios don't let something as big as Bond pass them by. However, in a somewhat unexpected twist, it now looks like MGM is closing in on a deal with the comparatively smaller and newer company, Annapurna Pictures.
Annapurna has a strong track record as a production company with films like Zero Dark Thirty and American Hustle, and it recently got into the distribution game with Kathryn Bigelow's Detroit. The producers of the Bond franchise are known for making more conservative decisions with the character and series, which definitely makes the decision seem odd when Bond could've easily gone to a much more prominent company with more resources. However, Annapurna's reputation for reliable work may have instilled confidence in its ability to handle the martini-drinking hero.
It's also worth remembering that the domestic run of a James Bond film is only one piece of a larger pie. Per the recent report from Deadline, the rights for overseas distribution of Bond 25 are still up in the air, and as such, major companies like Warner Bros., Universal, and Sony are all still vying for the international rights. We've taken a vital step towards Bond 25 finally coming together, but there are still things that need to be handled behind the scenes.
On that note, there's quite a bit else going on in the world of James Bond right now, and much of it should get fans very excited. Although Blade Runner 2049 director Denis Villeneuve recently came out and admitted that his commitments to the Dunereboot would keep him from taking on Bond 25 (not any Bond movie, just Bond 25), the shortlist of potential directors still includes '71's Yann Demange, and Hell Or High Water's David MacKenzie. Inception and Dunkirk director Christopher Nolan was also reportedly in the running, but insiders have remained relatively tight-lipped about the final choice to take on this beloved franchise.
Bond 25 is currently aiming to hit theaters on November 8, 2019, and we will bring you more updates related to the project as they become available to us. Until then, you can check out our 2017 movie premiere guide and our 2018 movie premiere guide to see what else is in store on the big screen over the next year.
BY CONNER SCHWERDTFEGER - CINEMABLEND