New James Bond movie sparks bidding war among five studios

Daniel Craig is expected to return to play James Bond. For who though? No one knows. Image Sony

The larger matter at hand, for the moment, is who will even be taking the reins of the next installment of the historic franchise, with Sony's contract to market and distribute the films having expired with 2015's Spectre.

EON and MGM own the rights to the James Bond films, but they do not distribute them. Now the rights are back up for grabs and the New York Times reports that five studios are in contention to make the next Bond movie.

Now, MGM and EON are allegedly offering a one-film contract only. The New York Times speculates that this is probably so MGM can keeps its options open in case there's a sale or public offering on the company.

The Bond franchise is definitely not as lucrative as any of the comic books series' or Star Wars, and it feels more as though getting Bond is more for bragging rights and the fact, according to Forbes, that "being the studio that releases the next 007 film gives you one more guaranteed hit every two to four years".

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It's worth noting that the value of franchises are outweighed by the particular benefits offered by Bond.

"Under its previous agreement, Sony paid 50 percent of the production costs for "Spectre" - which totalled some Dollars 250 million after accounting for government incentives - but only received 25 percent of certain profits, once costs were recouped", a report said.

Going one step further, it's important to note that the Powers That Be won't move forward until a deal is firmly locked in, so if you've caught wind of potential story clues, cast members and/or locations, it's likely bogus.

As things stand, Sony, Warner Bros., Universal, 20th Century Fox and Annapurna are in the process of pitching ideas to MGM in the hope of landing distribution rights to Bond 25.

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