The evolution of the Fast & Furious franchise from mid-level hits to some of the highest grossing films of all time is neat and all, but still nothing holds a candle to the longevity of the James Bond series. 50 years after it began, Bond remains stronger than ever thanks to the malleability of the franchise in terms of vision, scope, and performance. We’ve seen numerous difference kinds of Bond films over the franchise’s tenure—some great, quite a few so-so, and some really bad—but through it all Bond has remained interesting, and that’s no easy feat.
In addition to all that, Bond really seems to be at a high point right now. 2013’s Skyfall was not only one of the best films of that year, it’s one of the best Bond movies period, and anticipation is high for director Sam Mendes’ follow-up Spectre, coming later this year. But after this next entry, big changes may be afoot for the James Bond franchise.
Per Variety, the November release of Spectre marks the end of a multi-picture deal between MGM and Sony Pictures that began with the incredibly successful reboot Casino Royale. Given the lucrative nature of the franchise, a bidding war is expected to ensue as studios step up to replace Sony in the deal. In fact, it’s already begun.
While every studio in town will vie for the rights to team up with MGM on future Bond films, one may have an inside track. Variety sources insiders that say the close relationship between MGM chief Gary Barber and Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara may give WB the edge, bringing yet another highly successful franchise under Warners’ roof. MGM and WB have recently teamed up on the Hobbit trilogy to great success, and are partners on the upcoming Rocky sequel/spinoff Creed.
But Sony won’t be letting Bond go without a fight, as Skyfall pulled in $1.1 billion worldwide—the highest of any Bond movie yet. Will Spectre repeat that success? It’s unclear, but regardless of that film’s performance, expect a fight to rival any depicted in the Bond franchise thus far to play out in real life as Hollywood’s biggest studios compete to become Bond’s next companion.