Monday, November 1, 2010

Suck it, Entertainment Weekly

There are some things in this world that baffle me. Sure, I get befuddled or flabbergasted from time to time, but rarely am I baffled. I was once baffled in junior high, when I thought about why dances were so important to girls, and how they obsess over something so infantile. I was baffled again in college, when I discovered 'themed parties', and once more I am baffled, this time by the Masters of the Universe that preside over the boulevards and studios of Hollywood, where the streets are paved with gold, but covered in piss. 
The James Bond empire is the second-highest grossing film franchise of all time, right behind our good friend Harry Potter. It missed beating Potter by a longshot- all told, Bond has so far grossed $5 billion from 22 films, and HP raked in almost $5.5 billion, from only 6. This is totally irrelevant in retro, however, because Harry Potter is based on a set series of books, and the Bond movies are made from the closest thing to scratch you can get- a bunch of short stories. The bottom line is simple- Bond makes a lot of money. Here's where I'm baffled- the movies make a lot of money, so why haven't they been bought by somebody yet? Here's the lowdown- a quick recap. 
MGM owns Bond, and MGM has been in the gutter until recently. It filed chapter 11 not too long ago and has been up for sale, and has recently been bought out by a slew of creditors, leaving everything MGM owned to Spyglass entertainment. That's the short version. For the long version, I suggest wikipedia-ing that noise.
Anyway, I guess I misspoke- I was baffled, but am not baffled anymore. Here's the reason I was baffled- that (excuse my language) stupid jerk-off EW article entitled 'Goodbye, Mr. Bond'. It was a totally irreverent issue devoted entirely to the fact that EW thought that Bond was done for. It was completely, unequivocally 100% disrespectful to one of the greatest and most respected film franchises in history and proclaimed that Bond will never return. Well, you can go to hell, EW, because Bond is coming back.
It's not like nobody saw it coming. This is just a restatement of facts already known- MGM is going under a big restructuring, and now the question isn't will Bond 23 go back into production, it's when. In fact, the only question on the table is whether it'll go to Sony or Paramount. The popular belief is that it'll go to Sony, because Sony owns Spyglass, but now people think that it might go to Paramount because it's much bigger, I think. I mean, I guess Paramount has to be bigger- their logo is a mountain, for peats sake! [bicycle horn]
In summation- Bond will return, it's just a matter of when. The EW article said (this was back in July) that even if MGM was saved today, the next Bond wouldn't come to screens for at least another 6 years. That's so impossible. Seriously? Six years? Jesus, they're dramatic. And then they interviewed a former MGM exec to get his input on all of this, and he said that a franchise that loses this much momentum is very unlikely to survive and, I quote, 'even for Bond, this could be deadly.' Ok, first off- he's a former MGM exec. Of course he's going to say that, he's out of the job. Secondly- they underestimate the power of money in this situation. Bond is one of my favorites, to be sure, but there's no denying that there's some serious money attached to these movies. Somebody was going to solve the Bond problem soon enough, it was just a matter of time, and a short amount at that. The MovieWeb says that the next Bond is coming earliest 2014, and that is only because Craig is committed to David Fincher for the Millennium trilogy until then. If they really, seriously wanted to, they could get a new Bond and a new Director today and finish filming by next winter. Don't quote me though, because I don't know that for a fact. I do know that everything at Pinewood Studios is totally prepared to film a Bond movie. They were seriously ready to go, until MGM fell like a ton of bricks. Everything is waiting for production, like a dormant volcano. But, they're money watchers, so they'll wait for the team to get back together.
I don't know, I could be totally wrong about the whole Craig thing. He may not even agree to come back, but there it is. Bond has fallen apart and put itself back together in the past. There was a 6 year span of no Bond from '89 to '95, and it recovered just fine. I guess the reason everybody got so dramatic about it was because Casino Royale and Quantum were so good, and Craig is undoubtedly the best Bond. So what, though? Timothy Dalton was an unbelievable Bond and he only got two movies out of it, so why not hope for the best and prepare for the worst instead of hoping for the worst and preparing for nothing?
But yeah. For anybody out there who was worried about Bond- rest easy. Bond will return. Hell, he never left. To quote the last line of the most recent James Bond movie- 'You don't have to worry about me.'

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