Tuesday, July 6, 2010

MGM's Financial Sinkhole

Here's some depressing news: the once-great MGM, which has been in financial turmoil for years, may not see the next installments of two of its biggest franchises falter. First, Sir Ian McKellen announced that his "time is running out" for the much-delayed The Hobbit film, which would mean that if it ever gets off the ground, the producers might have to find a new Gandalf (MGM owns the rights to The Hobbit book). Of course, that's assuming that the film gets made at all, with Guillermo del Toro backing out last month and Peter Jackson having on again, off again commitment as director (though hopefully someone will step up, since the job has also been offered to Brett Ratner). Still, McKellen's statement is a huge blow to both fans and the studio.
When will this film pass?
And if that wasn't enough, it was announced today that the new James Bond film, which was to be written by Peter Morgan (The Queen, Frost/Nixon) and directed by Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Revolutionary Road), has been completely scrapped. This is especially depressing, since this could mean the end of Daniel Craig's run as Agent 007, a role that he revitalized in Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. This is also a crushing blow to MGM, since the James Bond franchise is not only the studios' longest, but also the longest in Hollywood. And the series has been drawing its best reviews and box office ever.
Is the end in sight for Bond?
Is it possible that someone, anyone, could save this studio?

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