Barbara Broccoli doesn't rule out possibility that streaming platform could win James Bond rights

Tom BeasleyContributor
James Bond (Daniel Craig) and Dr. Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux) drive through Matera, Italy in NO TIME TO DIE. (Credit: Nicola Dove © 2019 DANJAQ, LLC AND MGM)
James Bond (Daniel Craig) and Dr. Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux) drive through Matera, Italy in NO TIME TO DIE. (Credit: Nicola Dove © 2019 DANJAQ, LLC AND MGM)

Barbara Broccoli has said she cannot rule out the possibility that a streaming platform could one day own the rights to distribute James Bond films.

The boss of Bond production company Eon said she sees the future of the franchise existing “primarily on the big screen”, but said they make the films “for the audiences” and so need to listen to them.

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The 59-year-old’s comments raise the possibility that a streamer with deep pockets, such as Netflix or Amazon Prime, could ultimately snap up the rights to future superspy adventures.

Read more: Henry Golding reacts to “next Bond” rumours

“We make these films for the audiences,” Broccoli told Variety. “We like to think that they’re going to be seen primarily on the big screen.”

She added: “But having said that, we have to look to the future. Our fans are the ones who dictate how they want to consume their entertainment.

“I don’t think we can rule anything out, because it’s the audience that will make those decisions. Not us.”

Producers Michael G Wilson, left, and Barbara Broccoli, right, with actor Daniel Craig during the photo call of the latest installment of the James Bond film franchise. (AP Photo/Leo Hudson)
Producers Michael G Wilson, left, and Barbara Broccoli, right, with actor Daniel Craig during the photo call of the latest installment of the James Bond film franchise. (AP Photo/Leo Hudson)

This year’s Bond thriller, No Time to Die, will be distributed by Universal, who won the rights in a bidding war, with MGM and Annapurna set to handle the US distribution.

Previous distributor Sony missed out on retaining the rights, with their previous agreement expiring after 2015’s Spectre.

Bond movies are box office money-spinners, with Skyfall raking in a massive $1.1bn (£842m) in 2012 and Spectre managing a similarly hefty $881m (£674m).

Read more: Daniel Craig says secret idea stopped him quitting

Daniel Craig is set to wave farewell to the Bond franchise after No Time to Die — his fifth outing as Ian Fleming’s spy.

He has portrayed the character since 2006’s Casino Royale, making him the longest-serving Bond at 14 years between his first and last movies.

His closest competitor, Roger Moore, played 007 for 12 years between Live and Let Die and A View to a Kill.

James Bond (Daniel Craig) visits Blofeld (Christoph Waltz) in his prison cell in NO TIME TO DIE. (Credit: Nicola Dove. © 2019 DANJAQ, LLC AND MGM)
James Bond (Daniel Craig) visits Blofeld (Christoph Waltz) in his prison cell in NO TIME TO DIE. (Credit: Nicola Dove. © 2019 DANJAQ, LLC AND MGM)

Broccoli has said that work is underway on the casting process for Craig’s replacement, but denied that James Bond could ever be female.

She said: “I believe we should be creating new characters for women - strong female characters.”

No Time to Die is set to feature Captain Marvel actor Lashana Lynch as an agent who is more than a match for Bond and may or may not be the new owner of the 007 codename.

Knives Out star Ana de Armas will also appear along with returning female stars Naomie Harris and Léa Seydoux.

Read more: Billie Eilish confirmed for Bond theme song

The plot focuses on a retired Bond being drawn back into the world of espionage when he is informed of the abduction of a scientist, bringing him into the orbit of villain Safin — played by Oscar-winner Rami Malek.

No Time to Die will arrive in UK cinemas on 3 April.

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