Update: MGM has contacted the guys over at Film School Rejects directly to let them, and us all, know that this news is incorrect, and that Fox is NOT going to be distributing and marketing the Bond franchise. A source says that MGM owns the Bond franchise, and will announce the release date and distribution details in due time.
When news struck that MGM was in a little bit of financial trouble recently ($3.5 BILLION, little), two big projects/franchises were brought into question: the Bond franchise, and the upcoming adaptation of The Hobbit. With regards to the latter: as predicted, The Hobbit is quite safe, as the film's other financiers, Warner Bros., stepped in to handle costs. But it appears the Bond franchise isn't quite so safe.
Well, it's still safe in that it'll definitely continue on - let's face it, it's the Bond franchise and someone will always be there to pick up the financial reigns on it (it's a guaranteed money-maker, no?). But fairly significant word comes from the guys over at We Are Movie Geeks who say that the Bond franchise might be packing its bags, loading up the moving van and settling in at la casa de 20th Century Fox.
WAMG reports, via their source, that Bond will be settling in at Fox for its marketing and distribution from now on. If this turns out to be true, that means we will see the next Bond - referred to as Bond 23 until we hear otherwise - with the 20th Century Fox logo in front of it. Just as an FYI, Fox isn't at all new to the Bond franchise, as up until the last couple of films (Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace) they handled international and home video distribution for MGM.
There's no word on how this will effect Bond 23, but my guess would be not very much, at least not on the creative side of things. MGM is still handling the production of the next Bond film (and presumably beyond), so for us moviegoers handing over our hard earned cash to see the final product, the only difference will be which logo we see before the movie starts. But nonetheless, it shows the MGM near-bankruptcy DID effect at least one of their two big franchises.
What do you think of the possibility of 20th Fox handling James Bond marketing and distribution instead of MGM? Does it affect your viewing of the movie, or doesn't it matter who's handling it as long as the actual movie is still good?
Bond 23 has a tentative release date of sometime in 2011.
Sources: WeAreMovieGeeks (thanks to FilmSchoolRejects)