James Bond is about to arrive, but not in his usual tuxedo and Aston Martin. By that, we mean that Amazon Prime Video has announced a new streaming show called 007’s Road to a Million. The eight-episode show will essentially be people competing in an around the world contest to win a million pounds, couched in the style, visuals, and likely, some iconic locations from the James Bond franchise. Essentially, it’s The Amazing Race, but with a lot of spy talk and probably references to martinis and the style in which one likes them to be prepared. By the description, there will likely be physical competitions (if they don’t have a downhill ski course set to Duran Duran, someone goofed up) and an element of solving riddles in order to move to the next stage of the competition. So yeah, The Amazing Race, but James Bond.
This is the first James Bond project to emerge on Amazon Prime Video since they acquired MGM (which has long held the rights to the franchise) in a massive, multi-billion dollar deal. Although it now seems to have been finalized, the Federal Trade Commission has questioned the deal and apparently is still examining the potential for monopolistic practices. Apparently, the development of 007’s Road to a Million preceded the deal by some years, which means Amazon Prime Video has been trying to get into the hitherto-untapped “British military operative-themed game show” market for quite some time. Longtime James Bond company EON Productions will remain involved in the making of the show, as will Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson (who have jointly managed the franchise for decades). The show is expected to be an eight-part series, but it is not currently known when it may begin production or be released.
The James Bond franchise is currently in one of its periods of transition and rebuilding, as longtime Bond actor Daniel Craig recently bowed out with 2021’s No Time to Die. The search for a new James Bond is undoubtedly going on in the joint Eon-Amazon battle room, and likely will take some time and be controversial no matter who is chosen. The chances of particular actors being selected to play Bond have become a particular favorite on online gambling sites, with the odds ever-changing. The roster tends to span from perennial favorites like Tom Hardy to more obscure models and up and coming stars, but pinning down an actor to the role has been a difficult task through the decades. And even if an actor does finally get selected, they may have second thoughts about it.
Aside from now dabbling their digital toes in the water of James Bond, Amazon Prime Video is itself in a constant state of building its streaming catalog to match its main competitors, Netflix and Disney+. Both Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ have been making some pretty big gains against the once-dominant Netflix, but the big three will probably be going back and forth for years. Still, James Bond is a key acquisition for Amazon Prime Video, and this is a good start to see what they come up with.