MGM has tapped Warner Bros. to be its new international partner, giving Warners a shot at having a piece of the James Bond franchise. One caveat, the arrangement doesn’t include the next James Bond film.
The two companies announced the arrangement Sunday.
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MGM’s previous partner was Universal, which released the 2022 James Bond installment No Time to Die internationally, as well as such high-profile MGM titles as House of Gucci and Licorice Pizza.
Under the pact, Warner Bros. International’s distribution division will handle all Warners movies, beginning with the release of Bones and All in November of 2022 and Creed III, which is set for 2023.
Universal Pictures International will still distribute MGM and Orion Pictures’ Till in October of this year and Women Talking in the first quarter of 2023. Bond 26, the next chapter in the James Bond series of films, will also be distributed by Universal Pictures International as part of the studio’s original agreement (details of the movie have not yet been released).
The new partnership was unveiled by Warner Bros. co-chairs and CEOs Michael De Luca and Pamela Abdy — who recently arrived from MGM — and MGM COO Christopher Brearton.
The new multiyear deal encompasses the theatrical distribution of MGM films in territories outside of the U.S., including China. The new agreement also includes worldwide physical home entertainment distribution on all newly released MGM titles.
Under the terms of this arrangement, MGM and Warners will collaborate on marketing/advertising, publicity, film distribution and exhibitor relations on behalf of MGM’s future slate of theatrical releases outside the North American theatrical market, with Warners responsible for execution.
From filmmaker Luca Guadagnino, Bones and All stars Taylor Russell, Timothée Chalamet, Michael Stuhlbarg, André Holland, Chloë Sevigny, David Gordon-Green, Jessica Harper, Jake Horowitz and Mark Rylance.
Creed III is directed by Michael Jordan, who also stars in the movie alongside Creed III stars Michael B. Jordan, Tessa Thompson, Jonathan Majors, Wood Harris, Phylicia Rashad, Mila Kent, Jose Benavidez, Selenis Leyva, Florian Munteanu, Tony Bellew, Jacob Duran, Patrice Harris, Ann Najjar, Thadeus J. Mixson, and Spencer Moore II.
The Bond series is considered the prize of MGM’s extensive library, and Warners may be able to release James Bond 27 should that film come out within the time period of the partnership (it’s understood the deal can be extended beyond three years).
The Bond films are controlled by the London-based Eon, which is run by half-siblings Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson. So far, they haven’t revealed any specifics about where the series will go from here now that Daniel Craig is done playing the iconic spy.
Both MGM and Warner Bros. are under new leadership. MGM is owned by Amazon, while Warners is owned by Discovery.
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