Written by Sarah

Well, sorta.

When I wrote about The Hobbit’s curse last October, I mentioned MGM’s money woes. At the time, they were on the brink of bankruptcy, unable to finance anything and struggling to hold onto their most valuable properties. Since then, MGM declared chapter 11 and was taken over by Spyglass Entertainment’s co-owners Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum. Sure enough, MGM as we know it is no more. Barber and Birnbaum are using the remaining MGM properties, including Bond 23 & 24, to leverage finance deals that will bring much-needed cash to MGM and get them back into production. The end game is to establish Spyglass as the filmmaking branch, which I interpret as “Spyglass emerges as a major and MGM becomes a financing operation”.

MGM’s partner in their first major post-bankruptcy film financing deal is Sony. After tense negotiations with all the majors going back four months, MGM is close to closing a co-financing arrangement that will put the majority burden of distributing Bond on Sony and also gives MGM a piece of one of Sony’s biggest upcoming titles, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. And maybe also next summer’s potential hit The Amazing Spider-Man. HUGE! MGM scores a piece of two (probably) enormous movies and doesn’t have to lift a finger. They get some production capital to get projects like the Robocop reboot off the ground, and it’s rumored Sony assumes distribution responsibility for completed MGM films that have been stuck in limbo, The Cabin in the Woods and Red Dawn, as well.

Leveraging Bond for a piece of GWDT is a good deal, but if MGM is really also picking up a share in Spider-Man and unloading lingering titles like Cabin and Red Dawn, then this is a REALLY REALLY good deal. MGM has to get back into production with new titles and starting out by announcing the next Bond is a solid start. Daniel Craig will return as 007 and Sam Mendes is on to direct. Casting is in process with Bond girl rumors rampant, ranging from Freida Pinto to 28 Days Later’s Naomi Harris. Bond 23 is set for a November 9, 2012 release. And is it coincidence or conspiracy that Craig is toplining these two monster projects that are shuffling financing? Daniel Craig, dealmaker.

Daniel Craig might be the busiest man in Hollywood. He has Cowboys and Aliens this summer, GWDT this winter and Bond next fall. Assuming all these movies hit, can you imagine how big Craig will be by the end of 2012? Like ginormous huge big. (Lainey: like the biggest movie star in the world Big?)

Attached – Daniel Craig at J Sheekey in London for dinner on Saturday.

Photos from Wenn.com