Universal wins international distribution rights to 'Bond 25'

Universal wins international distribution rights to 'Bond 25'

Article from Screen International:

In a huge win for Universal Pictures, the studio has struck a deal with EON Productions and MGM to distribute Bond 25 internationally. Production is set to begin on December 3 ahead of a year-end 2019 global launch.

Bond 25 will open in the UK on October 25, 2019, and in the US on November 8, 2019. MGM will release the film theatrically in the US through its new joint venture with Annapurna Pictures, while Universal will handle international theatrical roll-out. It is understood Thursday’s announcement only relates to Bond 25.

MGM will retain digital and worldwide television distribution rights. Universal will also handle physical home entertainment distribution.

The announcement late on Thursday evening (May 24) ends speculation as to which studio would handle the next instalment in the superspy franchise after Sony’s contract ended after 2015 release Spectre. Warner Bros and Annapurna Pictures had been among those in the hunt, and the latter emerges with a share of the spoils under the recently announced pact with MGM.

Daniel Craig will return in his fifth outing as 007. Boyle will direct from an original screenplay by John Hodge (Trainspotting).

EON Productions’ Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, MGM’s chairman of the board Kevin Ulrich and president of the motion picture group Jonathan Glickman, and Universal Pictures chairman Donna Langley made the announcement.

“We are delighted to announce that the exceptionally talented Danny Boyle will be directing Daniel Craig in his fifth outing as James Bond in the 25th installment of the franchise,” Wilson and Broccoli said. “We will begin shooting Bond 25 at Pinewood Studios in December with our partners at MGM and thrilled that Universal will be our international distributor.”

“Under the leadership of Michael and Barbara, we couldn’t be more thrilled than to bring the next 007 adventure to the big screen uniting the incomparable Daniel Craig with the extraordinary vision of Danny Boyle,” Ulrich said. Glickman added, “It has been 16 years since Die Another Day was distributed by MGM and it’s incredibly gratifying to be releasing this film alongside the powerhouse team at Universal.”

“Universal is extremely proud to collaborate with Michael, Barbara and MGM on the international marketing and distribution of Bond 25,” Langley said. “The unparalleled combination of Danny’s innovative filmmaking and Daniel’s embodiment of 007 ensured we simply had to be partners in the next chapter of this iconic series.”