Amazon and MGM have officially announced plans for a merge are underway. Since last week, the merger has been rumored, but the companies now confirm that Amazon will acquire MGM, the studio behind the James Bond film franchise, for $8.45 billion. MGM is a nearly 100-year-old studio with an extensive back catalog of films to match its age. Amazon likely hopes that the company's film catalog will help bolster its streaming presence as its original programming has been focused on producing television shows like The Boys, Invincible, Lord of the Rings, and The Wheel of Time. Amazon says it plans to "preserve MGM's heritage and catalog of films" while making the catalog easier to access.
MGM Studios' biggest franchises include the James Bond series, the Rocky saga, and Pink Panther. This merger follows news that WarnerMedia will spin-off of AT&T to merge with Discovery and could only be the start of a new round of corporate combining in the entertainment industry as mid-size companies seek to compete with behemoths like Disney and Netflix.
The $8.75 billion Amazon is paying for MGM will shock some experts and analysts. Other entities that showed interest in buying the studio balked at the price tag, which they feel is inflated by Eon Productions, the studio that has semi-control over the Bond franchise.
MGM Studios has several significant film projects in the works. Ridley Scott is working on House of Gucci, and the studio purchased the rights to adapt Project Hail Mary, based on the latest novel from The Martian author Andy Weir. It also has a third Legally Blonde movie in development and a sequel to the 2018 Tomb Raider movie starring Alicia Vikander. It co-produced Three Thousand Years of Longing, the next film from Mad Max creator/director George Miller. There are also rumors of a Pink Panther reboot in the works that would blend live-action with animation to see Inspector Clouseau sharing screentime with the cartoon panther created for the original movie's credits sequence..
The long-delayed next installment of the James Bond franchise, No Time to Die, which will be Daniel Craig's final outing as the title character, opens in theaters on October 8th. MGM also owns Orion Pictures (home of the Bill and Ted movies), United Artists, and American International Pictures.
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