Ever since the James Bond film franchise began in 1962, with Dr. No starring Sean Connery, it has carved its own place in a cinematic world full of spy films with the aid of its distinct style and unique central character. But it was only with 1974’s Octopussy, that the James Bond films came under MGM and remained under its ownership till Amazon confirmed the deal to acquire the studio. And this change in ownership concerns the recent writer of the films, John Logan, who is worried about the future of the franchise.
John Logan, who penned the script for the 23rd and 24th James Bond films, Skyfall and Spectre, has recently penned an opinion piece for The New York Times to express how worried he is about the franchise as even the mere news of the confirmed deal sent “a chill went through me.”
He went on to explain that unlike the Marvel or DC cinematic universe, the James Bond franchise is less of a franchise and more a family business that has been looked after and nurtured by the Broccoli and Wilson family which owns Eon Productions, one of the production house involved in the Bond films. But now that MGM will be acquired by Amazon, that is “a global technology company” at the end of the day and “not necessarily a champion or guardian of artistic creativity or original entertainment,” the cherished integrity and uniqueness of the franchise is in trouble as they might end up interfering with the creative process of the films.
According to Logan, if and when Amazon begins pitching its advice into how the James Bond films are made, the corporation will change the films into a watered-down version of their former glory, “an inoffensive shadow of a thing,” which will lack its important “rough edges or flights of cinematic madness.”
Even though currently the Broccoli and Wilson family holds 50% of the Bond franchise, Logan believes that the artistic freedom that people attached to the films have now is temporary as “a bruising corporation like Amazon” might demand to take control over the creative process and may question every decision taken to exert its superiority.
“What happens when a focus group reports they don’t like Bond drinking martinis? Or killing quite so many people? And that English accent’s a bit alienating, so could we have more Americans in the story for marketability?” he said.
All Logan wants is that in this new era practice of studios merging and getting acquired, a franchise like James Bond should not be tampered with as it has flourished over decades and has added to the growing list of its loyal fans only because of what sets it apart from the norm.
At the moment, it is too soon to agree to or refute Logan’s points. Amazon will have a lot on its plates after it acquires MGM, starting with the countless MGM films, including the 25th James Bond film, that are awaiting theatrical release. And after this, if the corporation does take the decision to continue the billion-dollar James Bond franchise, it will have to find a suitable 007 to replace Daniel Craig who is ending his stint as the famous spy with No Time to Die.