The studio behind the James Bond series is getting a new owner: the name's Bezos. Jeff Bezos.
Amazon announced Wednesday it's acquiring Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer for $8.45 billion, the company's second-largest acquisition ever behind its purchase of Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, Variety reports. The deal is still subject to regulatory approval.
Founded in 1924, MGM is the studio behind film franchises like Rocky and, most notably, the James Bond series, as well as TV shows like The Handmaid's Tale. MGM's upcoming movies also include Ridley Scott's House of Gucci and the next film from Paul Thomas Anderson. Amazon on Wednesday touted the studio's "vast catalog" of films from 12 Angry Men to Legally Blonde, citing plans to dig into the library and "reimagine" certain properties.
"The real financial value behind this deal is the treasure trove of [intellectual property] in the deep catalog that we plan to reimagine and develop together with MGM's talented team," Mike Hopkins, Senior Vice President of Prime Video and Amazon Studios, said. "It's very exciting and provides so many opportunities for high-quality storytelling."
This is just the latest example of a multibillion dollar merger involving a company hoping to gain an advantage in the ongoing streaming wars, and The New York Times wrote that by buying MGM, Amazon will be "bolstering Prime Video at a time when the biggest old-line studios are becoming less willing to license their libraries to outside streaming services."
The deal comes less than five months before the highly-anticipated next Bond film, No Time to Die, is set to debut in the United States. But Variety previously reported that insiders believe Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, who have creative control over the Bond series via their company Eon Productions, would "likely nix any plans to debut Bond films on Amazon's streaming service Prime Video and would insist on a theatrical release."