Sony Nears a Deal with MGM to Distribute BOND 23, RED DAWN, and CABIN IN THE WOODS

     February 8, 2011

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The coverage of the MGM financial woes has generally focused on Bond 23 and The Hobbit due to their Major Property status.  But that status meant that their eventuality was never really in doubt so much as the timing.  Sure enough, Warner Bros. will partner with MGM to distribute The Hobbit, and MGM is close to formalizing a similar deal with Sony Pictures that, yes, includes Bond 23.  However, I’m more interested in two different titles that are likely to be included in the Sony/MGM deal: Red Dawn and Cabin in the Woods.

Both films are in the can, but there is doubt either would ever see the light of day after prolonged delays.  I dislike that hypothetical.  The Red Dawn remake intrigues with the promise of cashing in on the cheese of the 1980s original with a notable young cast — Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Adrianne Palicki (Friday Night Lights), Josh Hutcherson (The Kids Are All Right).  But the true loss would be Cabin in the Woods, the directorial debut of writer Drew Goddard (Cloverfield) which he co-wrote with his Buffy the Vampire Slayer boss Joss Whedon.  I’m not even much of a horror buff, but I need to see this one.  Hit the jump for more on the potential deal.

quantum-of-solace-posterAccording to Variety, MGM was in discussions with Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros., and 20th Century Fox to enter into an overall distribution partnership before those studios bowed out.  Sony previously co-financed and released the last two entries in the Bond franchise, Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace.  Sony and MGM are still working out the details of their partnership, but it has been suggested that Sony will co-finance not only Bond 23, but David Fincher’s adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo as well.

One of the major dealbreakers up to this point has been MGM’s desire to attach itself to an upcoming studio tentpole for a more immediate cash flow.  Paramount reportedly dropped out after declining MGM’s request to partner on Transformers: Dark of the Moon or Super 8.  The LA Times posited The Smurfs as a viable Sony tentpole, but now I wonder if Dragon Tattoo will fulfill that role.

The deal also accounts for DVD and digital sales from MGM’s 4,000-film library.  But seriously, Cabin in the Woods is coming.  Eventually.  I think.  Get it done, Sony.  And give Bond 23 a real title while you’re in there.

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