Tech giants Apple and Amazon have reportedly entered the race to score the distribution rights to the James Bond franchise according to THR.
At last report, Warner Bros. Pictures remains in the lead to land distribution rights to the series after EON and MGM’s previous deal with Sony Pictures came to its natural expiration with “Spectre” in 2015.
The trade says both Apple and Amazon are willing to spend as much, if not more than Warners for the rights. Sony, Universal and Fox have also been aggressively pursuing the property.
However it’s Apple, in particular, being in pursuit of the rights that has raised eyebrows as it could indicate more than just film rights are on the table – it could even mean a deal for full ownership of the whole franchise, valued at anywhere between $2 -5 billion.
There’s also word that Chinese companies are reportedly pursuing not just movie rights but massive licensing rights that could push a new deal into the billions of dollars.
Should a full ownership transfer deal take place with someone like Apple, the franchise could spread into new arenas including establishing a larger Bond cinematic universe with spin-offs or more direct and period-set adaptations of Fleming’s original novels, and it could finally yield one or several Bond related TV series.
All the talk and speculation arrives ahead of Daniel Craig’s fifth and final outing as Bond in a new film set to open in cinemas on November 8th 2019.