Is a James Bond TV series in Amazon's future?
James Bond prefers his martinis “shaken, not stirred” and according to a new interview, he apparently plans to keep his stories “cinematic, not televised.”
As James Bond fans’ expectations inch tentatively toward the October release date of No Time to Die, Total Film (via Games Radar) spoke with the producers of 007’s iconic films about the future of the franchise after Daniel Craig takes his final bow as the secret agent. Of particular interest was Amazon’s $8.45 billion bid to acquire MGM (via CNBC). Announced in May, the deal has had some wondering if Amazon might want to add a James Bond TV series to the Amazon Prime Video streaming service. Games Radar even speculated Amazon might be interested in tapping into the “Young Bond” series of books — telling stories of Bond’s adventures as a teenager — originated by author Charlie Higson in 2005 with SilverFin and continued later in 2014 by Steve Cole with Shoot to Kill.
Whether it’s Young James Bond, Old James Bond, or any Bond in between, the producers say the same thing about Bond being adapted to TV — absolutely not. Producer Barbara Broccoli told Total Film, “We make films for the cinema. That’s what we do.” Since Broccoli and producer Michael G. Wilson’s company Eon Productions retains all creative control over the franchise, it seems like that’s the end of the matter unless someone can change their mind.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard concern over the future of James Bond because of the Amazon/MGM deal. After news of the deal broke, John Logan — who cro-wrote two of the more recent Bond films, 2012’s Skyfall and 2015’s Spectre — penned an op-ed in The New York Times expressing his concern for 007 coming under Amazon’s umbrella. Logan’s main concern seemed to be that Amazon’s influence could turn the story of James Bond into “an inoffensive shadow of a thing.” He listed hypotheticals like Amazon deciding Bond shouldn’t drink as much, be as violent, or even have an English accent.
Regardless of whether or not Amazon would choose to bully their way forward making creative decisions over James Bond as John Logan fears, it does look like the film franchise could be in desperate straits. If estimates of No Time to Die’s budget are accurate, the film will need to take around $928 million to turn a comfortable profit. With the COVID-19 pandemic keeping ticket sale expectations relatively low, it doesn’t seem likely the upcoming Bond sequel will hit its goal.
This difficulty isn’t lost on the producers, who are admittedly unclear on how to proceed with James Bond’s story after No Time to Die. Broccoli told Total Film she thinks all she and her colleagues can do for right now is celebrate the new film and Craig’s 15 year run as 007 “and then when the dust settles,” figure things out. She added that the pandemic and its impact on the film industry has taught her to never assume she knows what the future is going to hold. No Time to Die — the final film to star Daniel Craig as James Bond — is scheduled for release in theaters Friday, October 8, 2021.