Apple is finally making the right moves in the content-producing business. After a rumor last week said that Apple is pursuing a Jennifer Aniston TV series drama, a new report says the company is currently fighting for something even more significant: the rights to the James Bond franchise.
It’s The Hollywood Reporter that first reported the news. Apple isn’t the only big name currently bidding for the rights, as Amazon is also interested in securing the James Bond rights for its own project.
Warner Bros. remains in the lead to land film distribution rights after Sony’s deal expired in 2015, although other major companies including Sony, Universal, and Fox, are also bidding on MGM’s James Bond property.
The franchise is very appealing, especially to tech companies like Apple and Amazon, as it may be used to produce other types of content aside from standalone feature films. The next James Bond movie is due in November 2019, with Daniel Craig reprising his 007 role.
The report notes that both Apple and Amazon are willing to spend in the same ballpark as Warners and that Warners is now pressing MGM hard to close the deal to avoid having to battle Apple.
The value of the franchise may be anywhere between $2 billion and $5 billion, an insider familiar with the matter told THR.
In addition to Apple and Amazon, Chinese companies may also get involved, pursuing not just movie rights but also massive licensing rights that could push the deals into the billions of dollars.
Leading the fight to acquire the rights for Apple are Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht, the former top Sony executives that announced in June they were leaving for Apple.