Sony Pictures Reaches Agreement with MGM to Co-Finance and Distribute BOND 23 and 24

     April 13, 2011

Back in February it was reported that MGM was close to settling a deal with Sony to distribute some of their films. Well, now Sony and MGM have officially reached an agreement for Bond 23 as well as Bond 24. Sony will co-finance and theatrically market and distribute Bond 23 worldwide, and the press release announces that Sony and MGM “look forward to Sony Pictures co-financing and distributing Bond 24 on a similar basis.” All-in-all, good news for James Bond fans.

Bond 23 is set to be directed by Sam Mendes, with Daniel Craig returning as Bond. Javier Bardem and Ralph Fiennes have both been in talks with producers about taking on two separate roles, with Bardem being offered the villain. The press release also mentions that Sony and MGM will be partnering up on other films besides the Bond series for the next five years. Hopefully this includes the Joss Whedon-scripted Cabin in the Woods and the Red Dawn remake, both of which were filmed over a year ago. Hit the jump to read the full press release.

mgm-logoHere’s the full press release:

MGM PARTNERS WITH SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT

IN WORLDWIDE THEATRICAL DISTRIBUTION

AND CO-FINANCING PACT

Culver City, April 13, 2011 – Sony Pictures Entertainment will remain in the James Bond business after reaching an agreement with MGM to co-finance and theatrically market and distribute Bond 23 worldwide, it was announced today by MGM Co-Chairmen and Chief Executive Officers Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum and Sony Pictures Chairman and CEO Michael Lynton and Co-Chairman Amy Pascal.  Sony will release the next film in this iconic franchise on November 9, 2012 throughout the world except for select International territories, where MGM will directly oversee distribution.

Sony Pictures and MGM look forward to Sony Pictures co-financing and distributing Bond 24 on a similar basis.

Additionally, MGM and Sony Pictures have agreed to explore co-financing opportunities on future motion pictures produced by each of the respective studios for the next five years.

The two studios have collaborated directly and indirectly in recent years on numerous films, including Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, 21, Yours, Mine and Ours, The Pink Panther, and the forthcoming Kevin James comedy Zookeeper.

The announcement of the agreement to distribute Bond 23 adds another high-profile title to Sony’s 2012 slate, which also includes Men in Black 3 and The Amazing Spider-Man, as well as I Hate You, Dad, starring Adam Sandler, Here Comes the Boom, starring Kevin James, 21 Jump Street, Resident Evil 5 and Total Recall.

“Sony Pictures is the ideal studio partner for us as MGM re-enters the filmmaking business. We have longstanding relationships with Michael and Amy and look forward to what promises to be a prosperous future together,” said Barber and Birnbaum.

“In addition to working together on Bond, this deal expands our relationship with MGM as we explore co-financing opportunities on other high-profile projects,” Lynton said. “Gary and Roger are incredibly thoughtful and experienced leaders who are outstanding creative executives and respected moviemakers. While we are excited to be back in the Bond business, we also look forward to future collaborations and I am confident that this agreement will be long-term, lucrative, and beneficial to both studios.”

“After successfully working on the re-launch of the James Bond franchise with Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, we could not be more proud or privileged to continue our association with Barbara Broccoli, Michael G. Wilson, Daniel Craig, and the talented teams at EON and MGM,” said Pascal.

When Sony released Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, the films had record-high grosses for the Bond franchise, with Casino Royale taking in $599 million in worldwide ticket sales and Quantum of Solace generating $577 million.

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