We live in an almost certainly worrying era of big mergers, with large companies being devoured by even larger companies, with no government regulations to keep them from getting too big. This isn’t as troubling as Disney swallowing up Fox, but it’s still: According to The Hollywood Reporter, the already ginormous Amazon is very close to finalizing a deal to buy MGM, the legendary but troubled media company whose biggest asset is no less than James Bond.
Should the deal, which is reportedly going for “almost $9 billion,” go through, they’ll acquire — among many, many other things — a franchise that’s been effectively homeless since 2015. Sony lost the rights to the 007 series after Spectre, and its long-delayed latest, No Time to Die, is being released by MGM in tandem with United Artists Releasing, with Universal handling the international wing. Will that mean that the previous 24 entries, which have long drifted from streamer to streamer, will have a permanent home on Amazon Prime? It’s still too early to tell.
Amazon also stands to gain 4,000 movies and 17,000 hours of television, though not much of that will be from MGM’s vast back catalogue. A large section of that was long ago sold to Warner Bros., which is one reason why HBO Max is relatively lousy with classic Hollywood fare, at least compared to other streamers.
During the Golden Age of Hollywood, MGM was one of what they called the “Big Five,” along with Warner Bros., Paramount, 20th Century Fox, and RKO. But that was some seven decades ago. Nowadays they’re struggling. The company emerged from bankruptcy in 2010 and has cautiously stayed afloat. They were recently nearing a deal with Apple, but it appears Amazon has stepped in for their own big merger. A deal reportedly could be announced as early as next week, though it will likely take a bit longer for you to be able to casually watch Octopussy on Prime.