James Bond will indeed be back in action as MGM and Sony Pictures announced their joint venture today in a press release, with the untitled BOND 23 feature set to infiltrate theaters November 9, 2012, largely under Sony’s distribution arm. Similar arrangements between the two studio entities are in place for other joint-venture film properties over the next five years as well.
This renewed pact continues the Bond franchise relationship between Sony and MGM, begun with star Daniel Craig‘s hit debut as 007 in CASINO ROYALE from 2006, and its sequel QUANTUM OF SOLACE two years later. The Bond franchise was derailed when MGM hit financial troubles and lingered on hold for the last few years until this new deal was forged with Sony again.
MGM and Sony stated their new co-financing, marketing and distribution deal will extend from this falls BOND 23 release to a future 24th installment based on Ian Fleming’s iconic agent and box office powerhouse, James Bond. No projected production details are announced for BOND 24 yet, as both studios need to get 23 back on track to resume the series’ momentum this fall. This is great news for fans of this rebooted and well-made Bond of the 21st century in the guise of gruff, dynamic Craig.
FilmEdge will preview and cover BOND 23’s production and release this summer and through its theatrical launch this November.
Below is the complete MGM/Sony press release, first sourced by Deadline:
LOS ANGELES, CA., April 13, 2011 – Sony Pictures Entertainment will remain in the James Bond business after reaching an agreement with MGM to co-finance and theatrically market and distribute Bond 23 worldwide, it was announced today by MGM Co-Chairmen and Chief Executive Officers Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum and Sony Pictures Chairman and CEO Michael Lynton and Co-Chairman Amy Pascal. Sony will release the next film in this iconic franchise on November 9, 2012 throughout the world except for select International territories, where MGM will directly oversee distribution.
Sony Pictures and MGM look forward to Sony Pictures co-financing and distributing Bond 24 on a similar basis.
Additionally, MGM and Sony Pictures have agreed to explore co-financing opportunities on future motion pictures produced by each of the respective studios for the next five years.
The two studios have collaborated directly and indirectly in recent years on numerous films, including Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, 21, Yours, Mine and Ours, The Pink Panther, and the forthcoming Kevin James comedy Zookeeper.
The announcement of the agreement to distribute Bond 23 adds another high-profile title to Sony’s 2012 slate, which also includes Men in Black 3 and The Amazing Spider-Man, as well as I Hate You, Dad, starring Adam Sandler, Here Comes the Boom, starring Kevin James, 21 Jump Street, Resident Evil 5 and Total Recall.
“Sony Pictures is the ideal studio partner for us as MGM re-enters the filmmaking business. We have longstanding relationships with Michael and Amy and look forward to what promises to be a prosperous future together,” said Barber and Birnbaum.
“In addition to working together on Bond, this deal expands our relationship with MGM as we explore co-financing opportunities on other high-profile projects,” Lynton said. “Gary and Roger are incredibly thoughtful and experienced leaders who are outstanding creative executives and respected moviemakers. While we are excited to be back in the Bond business, we also look forward to future collaborations and I am confident that this agreement will be long-term, lucrative, and beneficial to both studios.”
“After successfully working on the re-launch of the James Bond franchise with Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, we could not be more proud or privileged to continue our association with Barbara Broccoli, Michael G. Wilson, Daniel Craig, and the talented teams at EON and MGM,” said Pascal.
When Sony released Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, the films had record-high grosses for the Bond franchise, with Casino Royale taking in $599 million in worldwide ticket sales and Quantum of Solace generating $577 million.