Is Apple ready for James Bond?

Depends who’s in charge.

In June, Apple poached Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg—the team behind Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul and The Crown—from Sony Pictures Television.

It didn’t take long for their presence to be felt.

According to Wednesday’s Hollywood Reporter, Erlicht and Van Amburg are engaged in a bidding war with Amazon and Warner Bros for the James Bond franchise, one of the few great Hollywood legacies that hasn’t been beaten to a pulp by remakes and spinoffs.

Warners has had its eye on Bond for years, and the studio is said to have the inside track. But Apple and Amazon have a few things going for them: Cash to burn, massive digital distribution platforms and an itch to reinvent.

“Even if Apple and Amazon walk away from Bond empty-handed,” write the Recorder’s Tatiana Siegel and Borys Kit, “both are already disrupting the tentpole movie business paradigm.”

Speaking generally of Apple’s film ambitions and not specifically to Bond, [Hollywood agent] Yale Chasin says: “Apple is the biggest digital outlet for movies, so I think they are always present in the conversation whether they’re upfront or behind any other distributor out there that’s turning to them for real control in the digital market.”

Would I watch a Bond by the guys who made Breaking Bad? You bet! From the team that green-lighted Planet of the Apps? Not so much.

Speaking of remakes and spinoffs, Apple blogger and Bond movie aficionado John Gruber, who in 2014 reviewed all 23, has some ideas of his own. From Wednesday’s Daring Fireball:

I’ve been saying for years that they should do a spin-off movie starring Jeffrey Wright as Felix Leiter. Also ripe for spin-offs: the exploits of the other agents in the 00 sector. With Bond, you know he’s going to win in the end. Make some movies or a serious HBO-style limited series about the other agents in the 00 sector and you’d never know who was going to die when. There is a ton of untapped potential in this franchise. If Apple does win the bidding for these rights, I’m pretty sure we’ve seen the last of Bond using some shitty Sony phone. And, for what it’s worth, Phil Schiller is a huge Bond fan.

UPDATE: Apple recruits four TV executives to growing video team

One Comment

  1. Gianfranco Pedron said:
    … eagerly awaiting a “Shot on iPhone” Bond release.

    September 7, 2017

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