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10-Sep-2016 • Spectre (2015)
According to the latest reportage on the '$150m' Daniel Craig deal rumour mill, Vanity Fair has revealed a different side of the story.
Craig's much vaunted - and often taken out of context - 'slash my wrists' Time Out interview seems to be at the heart of the will he / won't he return dilemma:
The final decision about who inhabits the tuxedo of Her Majesty’s favorite secret servant ultimately falls to two entities: Eon Productions, the Bond licensing company established by Albert “Cubby” Broccoli and Henry Saltzman—which has produced every official installment since 1962—and MGM, the series’ distribution home for half a century. (Eon did not respond to a request for comment from Vanity Fair.)
Which leads us to Problem B: Craig’s “slash my wrists” comment didn’t exactly endear him to MGM’s chief executive and chairman Gary Barber who, Vanity Fair has learned, personally contacted the actor last year to express his frustration in no uncertain terms. (An email to Craig's publicist was not immediately returned.)
“Gary hit the ceiling when he read the story,” says a source with knowledge of the situation, who declined to be identified because the person was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter. “He called up Daniel to yell at him. He was furious.”
A studio distribution deal is still to be struck by MGM, and it is by no means certain that it will be Sony. MGM's negotiating position on any distribution deal for Bond just got significantly weaker this month due to the disastrous box-office of their 'Ben-Hur' remake which is set to lose about $100m.