A ‘James Bond’ screenwriter says Amazon’s $8 billion MGM deal gave him a ‘chill’ – and warns commercial interests could water down the franchise

james bond
“James Bond.”

  • Screenwriter John Logan said he’s worried about “James Bond” being in Amazon’s hands.
  • The “Skyfall” co-writer said that corporate and commercial interest can water down film creativity.
  • MGM owns half of the Bond rights, but Logan said he’s worried Amazon could still wield influence.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A writer of the “James Bond” films says Amazon’s planned $8.45 billion acquisition of MGM Studios, including the 007 franchise, worries him and gave him a “chill” when announced in May.

John Logan, who co-wrote “Skyfall” and “Spectre,” wrote in a New York Times op-ed Monday that he’s concerned about the massive corporation’s oversight of artistic projects involving Bond and what Amazon’s ownership of the movies rights could do to the integrity of the character.

“What happens if a bruising corporation like Amazon begins to demand a voice in the process? What happens to the comradeship and quality control if there’s an Amazonian overlord with analytics parsing every decision? What happens when focus groups report 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 wrote.

Amazon did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

MGM owns just half of the rights to Bond, with the rest belonging to producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson, who have handled the creative direction of the franchise. So decisions could get tricky if Amazon ever wanted to expand the Bond universe, such as producing a TV series around the character.

Logan said the two producers are “champions of James Bond” and aren’t motivated by commercial interests, which is “why we don’t have a mammoth Bond Cinematic Universe, with endless anemic variations of 007 sprouting up on TV or streaming or in spinoff movies.”

But Logan questioned if that agreement will be enough to keep corporate pressure out of Bond content.

He cited Disney’s recent “Star Wars” spinoffs as well as installments in the DC universe featuring figures like Superman at Warner Bros. as examples of big firms using iconic characters to attract and keep paying customers.

Amazon’s planned acquisition MGM Studios’ parent company for $8.45 billion means the studio’s legendary movies and shows could eventually appear on Amazon’s Prime video streaming platform.

The move gives Amazon an edge in the streaming market as the company fights to compete for eyeballs with rivals like Netflix and Disney+. It also marks another tech company teaming up with a film industry giant as the media world continues to consolidate and transition to a streaming-first approach.

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