Bond screenwriter voices fears over Amazon owning half of 007

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Spectre and Skyfall co-writer John Logan has words of concern over Amazon picking up part-ownership of the James Bond cinematic saga.

With the news that Amazon is set to snap up the MGM studios for the best part of $9bn, the online giant will become part owners of the James Bond series as a result. And it’d be fair to say that not everyone seems particularly happy about that.

John Logan, who worked on the screenplays for both Spectre and Skyfall, has penned an extensive op-ed for the New York Times where he expresses his fears about what lies ahead.

In the piece, he describes what makes the ecosystem around the movies extraordinary is that “it is a family business that had been carefully nurtured and shepherded through the changing times by the Broccoli/Wilson family”. That’d be originally Albert R Broccoli, and since the mid-1990s Barbara Broccoli and her half-brother, Michael G Wilson.

“The reason we’re still watching Bond movies after more than 50 years is that the family has done an extraordinary job of protecting the character through the thickets of moviemaking and changing public tastes. Corporate partners come and go, but James Bond endures. He endures precisely because he is being protected by people who love him”, Logan writes.

Acknowledging that the new MGM deal is said to give Broccoli and Wilson “iron clad assurances of artistic control”, Logan nonetheless argues that things change with huge corporations of the ilk of Amazon. “What happens to the comradeship and quality control if there’s an Amazonian overlord with analytics parsing every decision?”, he asks.

It’s very much worth reading the whole piece, not least for a moment on the set of Skyfall when a key decision was made about the first encounter between Bond and his nemesis Raoul Silva was made – on the day that scene was shot.

Quite what Amazon’s long-term intentions for Bond are remain unclear. But for the minute, Logan’s piece can be found here.

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