New book examines Jeff Bezos’ intentions for conquering Hollywood

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A timely new book considers Amazon’s rise to power, including its ambitions for its film production arm.

A new book has arrived in timely fashion to remind us of the nature of Amazon owner, Jeff Bezos, and underline how the company’s drive for success as a competitor to its more traditional Hollywood rivals may leave plenty trailing in the dust.

We’ve already seen with Amazon’s film production arm, and more recently with its attempts to launch a video game studio, just how willing the company is to throw money at projects. Sadly, we’ve also witnessed how both studios have embraced a ‘cancellation culture’, where projects are abandoned rather than improved if they aren’t making the grade. This is especially true of the game studio which, since its creation in 2014, has seen a string of titles cancelled, both before and after launch.

Brad Stone’s new book, Amazon Unbound, reminds us that this approach permeates from the very top, with one particular anecdote reminding us that Bezos is happy to cancel the company’s highest-profile projects if he feels they are underperforming:

‘Viewing early cuts of his dystopian series Man In The High Castle, Bezos sternly instructed his executives, “Either stop it or reshoot it.”

To this empire builder, starting from scratch is never an issue. ”I want my Game Of Thrones,” he’s repeatedly demanded of his staff.’

A Deadline article covering the book’s launch also claims that Bezos’ fixation with conquering Hollywood is a source of frustration to his senior team, who don’t understand it, whilst the article itself points to Bezos’ desire to dominate Hollywood as something akin to winning a popularity contest, stating:

‘Surrounded by Matt Damon, Michelle Williams and a bevy of attractive women, Bezos clearly relished his new milieu. He also was frustrated that it focused on a mere art movie. After all, here was a man who yearned for bigger bets: He’s been famously unruffled by his occasional corporate losses — $241 million in 2014 — or by the abject failure of his vaunted Fire Phone.’

Whatever Bezos’ motivations may be, it promises to be an interesting time for those making key decisions at Amazon as they close in on the purchase of MGM. We saw a spate of regrettable film cancellations when Disney purchased Fox; given Amazon’s focused approach to success, it seems possible we’ll see the same again here.

Lead image: BigStock


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