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Bond producers push for continued Sony involvement, sources report

27-Jul-2010 • Skyfall

According to a source for the Hollywood Reporter, 007 producer Barbara Broccoli is hoping for a sale of MGM to Time Warner. But TW's $1.5 billion bid for the studio in May, though the highest fielded, is well below what MGM expected. And potential companies still in the hunt -- Spyglass Entertainment, Summit Entertainment and Lionsgate -- apparently are not on the scale that would satisfy the Bond producers.

The article was the lead headline on the trade paper's front page today - "Fate of James Bond hangs in the balance".

"Bond's the entire yearly production budget for Lionsgate, and you've got Carl Icahn saying they're spending too much money," the former MGM insider said. "These (prospective MGM buyers) freak them out. (But) all they can do is work behind the scenes to get what they want."

Broccoli and Wilson also continue to push for Sony Pictures Entertainment to be involved. That company was behind the production, marketing and distribution of 2008's "Quantum of Solace."

"They want to continue with Sony since Sony spends," the source said.

Naturally, Broccoli and Wilson have long been protective of the family legacy. Broccoli set the tone during her first meeting with Sony's top brass at a London club before they moved forward with "Quantum." At a dinner also attended by Howard Stringer and Michael Lynton, Sony Pictures chief Amy Pascal asked Broccoli to describe traits she liked and disliked in studio executives.

"Barbara said, 'We generally like studio executives, but we don't like assholes like John Calley,' " the source said. "Howard Stringer finally cut her off. It was the most awkward moment. ... (But) it was her way of firing a shot across the bow."

Bond himself would have been impressed.

"Bond 23" was moving forward on the heels of more than $1 billion in worldwide grosses from "Casino Royale" (2006) and "Quantum of Solace." Craig's addition to the team was a stroke of genius that came after Broccoli viewed Matthew Vaughn's "Layer Cake." MGM had asked her to watch the film because Vaughn was under consideration to direct, but Broccoli noticed another talent.

"Barbara said, 'I really like this guy, Daniel Craig,' " the source said. "We were horrified. We liked Eric Bana, Hugh Jackman. To her credit, she thought (Craig) was a great actor, had this magnetism. We wanted to do one more with Pierce (Brosnan). ... (The producers) are generally cautious, but they are capable of doing bold strokes."

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