It looks like MGM is ready to start the new year with a clean slate and $500 million worth of capital to play with. The production company, plagued by a debt of $5 billion, is now helmed by Spyglass Entertainment founders Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum, who helped broker the deal. The co-chairmen/co-CEOs released this statement about the status of the company:
“Beginning today, MGM is a stronger, more competitive company, with a solid financial foundation and a bright future. MGM is emerging from one of the most challenging periods of its storied history. We are honored and inspired at the opportunity of leading one of Hollywood’s most iconic studios into its next generation of unforgettable filmmaking, global television production and distribution and aggressively pursuing, developing and exploiting new digital platforms.”
Why is this important? Because MGM retains the rights to such franchises as James Bond and The Hobbit. And now that they have money to start paying people again (which cast and crew tend to prefer), they can release the movies they’ve already filmed and shoot the movies that were waiting for funding. Hit the jump to see what other films MGM plans on cranking out over the next few years.
According to THR, the company plans to hit the ground running, releasing as many as six films in 2012. The first is rumored to be Part 1 of The Hobbit. The Bond revamp has proven successful in the past, so it’s a safe bet that the 23rd installment will be greenlit. So what other projects can we expect?
How about the remake of Red Dawn, which was originally slated for a November release date? Maybe Robocop will get a reboot, even though MGM recently scrapped the latest iteration of the robotic super-cop. Aronofsky was attached to the project but left it to direct Black Swan instead. Hindsight is 20/20 — Black Swan looks to increase its collection of hardware at 2011’s upcoming award shows. Let’s hope MGM doesn’t sink its newly acquired $500 million into another installment of the Pink Panther series, unless it has Clouseau matching wits and fists against Rocky, another of MGM’s franchises. And honestly, if the next Pink Panther is anything like the first two, Blake Edwards will be rolling in his grave. Too soon?
On a more nostalgic note, part of the new deal allows MGM to retain its iconic mascot, Leo the Lion. Look for MGM products to come roaring back into theaters starting in 2012.