MGM moving forward on next Bond, despite financial woes

by Paul William Tenny

I'm not a real big fan of what Cinematical is doing in this story. Peter Hall states as a fact that Sam Mendes is going to direct the next Bond movie in the title of the post. But that magically changes to another blog reporting that Mendes is in negotiations to direct in the post itself. Blogs aren't the only sites that misrepresent their story in this way, mainstream news sites do it as well. In fact the Wall Street Journal got busted for doing that just a few days ago, if memory serves.

At best it's being lazy, at worst it's people whoring for traffic by saying things that simply aren't true, which is taking advantage of your own audience. What would Cinematical do if the negotiations break down and another director is selected, write a retraction?
On top of the answer being a probable no -- if you don't care about inaccurate headlines, why would you spend time highlighting that fact with a retraction? -- why put yourself in a position to possibly have to write one when all you have to do is not intentionally misrepresent the story in the first place?

That said, I'm dubious as to what these negotiations actually mean. They can wrap up in a day and contracts will be signed, or they could stagnate and eventually just disappear entirely. If a director were signed, then yes, that's good news and signifies that MGM probably does intend to shoot the film. But they aren't there yet and it's still not proof that MGM can afford to shoot the film, regardless of their intent. Negotiations like this are fairly standard for Hollywood anyway, so where's the big news?

Should MGM enter bankruptcy and they start pawning off their biggest properties, you can be sure that Bond will be one of the first to go, significantly reducing the size and value of MGM in the process, making it unlikely that the company would survive bankruptcy intact and that its other properties -- like Stargate -- would continue unaffected.

To the contrary, MGM has paid for and is now sitting on two screenplays for straight-to-DVD movies that continue the canceled shows SG-1 and Atlantis because it can't afford to shoot them. This has led to rumors that MGM is sitting on the movies to prop up Stargate Universe, which isn't true once you know how precarious their financials are, but more so because SGU is doing well in the ratings.

But those rumors exactly don't help.

I guess when June rolls around we'll find answers to some of these lingering questions, but that's assuming MGM is still around by then.
in Film, Media Criticism


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