Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been foraying into original content with minor streaming series like Planet of the Apps, but it sounds like the iPhone maker has its sights set much higher. The company is said to be taking part in the bidding for the rights to distribute the James Bond movies, but it’s up against some tough competition. Amazon is also said to be in the running against traditional content powerhouses such as Warner Bros.
Apple bidding on James Bond movies?
The James Bond franchise’s last deal was with Sony, and it ended after the film Spectre, which was released in 2015. At this time, Warner Bros. is reportedly still ahead of all the other bidders, although it’s up against some very tough and determined competition, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The media outlet’s sources claim that Apple and Amazon “are willing to spend in the same ballpark” as Warner Bros., “if not much more” for the distribution rights to the James Bond movies.
The Hollywood Reporter says that MGM has been seeking a deal for over two years. In addition to Apple and Amazon, Sony, Universal and Fox have also been pursuing the distribution rights for the James Bond movies. However, the media outlet said that Warner Bros. and Sony have been “the most aggressive” in the bidding.
Warner Bros. seems to feel threatened by Apple
Past James Bond movies have been a goldmine, so whichever company ends up winning the distribution rights will enjoy a massive new revenue stream. Apple’s reported entrance into the bidding for the rights is particularly interesting, although there have been plenty of rumors lately about the company creating its own content.
Because Apple has such deep pockets, it could emerge as a very serious contender, and according to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. is already taking the iPhone maker’s interest seriously. The company is reportedly pressuring MGM to close a deal for the James Bond movies quickly—before Apple has a chance to open its wallet.
The Hollywood Reporter adds that the fact that Apple and Amazon are interested in the James Bond franchise suggests that more than just film rights is on the table. In fact, it claims that the entire franchise’s future could be up for grabs if MGM will sell it or even license it at a deal that’s agreeable. The franchise is seen as one of the last major content brands that hasn’t been fully tapped, like Lucasfilm, known for the Star Wars franchise, Marvel, or Pixar, which is known for animated movies such as Monsters, Inc. and Toy Story. Walt Disney has gobbled up all three of them over the years.