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Sony Exec Elizabeth Cantillon Becoming Producer; Still Shepherding Next 007

By | Wednesday July 23, 2014 @ 1:04pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Sony Exec Elizabeth Cantillon Becoming Producer; Still Shepherding Next 007Longtime Sony Pictures EVP Elizabeth Cantillon will transition from a production exec to producer with a three-year first-look deal at the studio. Cantillon has been a key exec on some of Sony’s big projects, and she will moonlight in that capacity and shepherd with MGM the next James Bond film that is gearing up for a year-end production start, as well as R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps, which Jack Black will vamp this week at Comic-Con in San Diego.

Related: Sony Pictures Vice Chairman Jeff Blake Exiting Studio After 22 Years

At the same time, Cantillon will join several studio films as producer, including some she developed as an exec. This will keep her busy as she begins building her own projects. Cantillon’s first producing project is Game Brain, the drama about what causes the debilitating long-term effects of concussions in football and other contact sports that has led to suicides of several gridiron stars. Peter Landesman is writing to direct Will Smith in the role of Dr. Bennett Omalu, the man who was first to discover CTE, based a GQ article by Jeanne Marie Laskas that was developed by producers Ridley Scott and Giannina Facio.

Related: Will Smith Eyeing Gridiron Concussion Pic At Sony With Peter Landesman Directing

Cantillon will also become a producer of the Luca Guadagnino-directed adaptation of the Robert Goolrick novel A Reliable Wife, which Andrew Kevin Walker is adapting, as well as the live-action adaptation of the PlayStation property Gran Turismo. Several other alignments are in the works for her.

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MGM & James Bond Producer Say Nothing “Premature” About 007 Copyright Suit Against Universal

By | Thursday June 26, 2014 @ 6:06pm PDT

MGM & James Bond Producer Say Nothing “Premature” About 007 Copyright Suit Against UniversalTo quote heavy metal rock gods Judas Priest, if Universal think they’re going to get the multi-claim copyright infringement Section 6 lawsuit from MGM and James Bond producer Danjaq easily dismissed, the plaintiffs just told them they’ve got another thing coming. “Plaintiffs have alleged past and ongoing conduct by Universal sufficient to constitute direct and secondary copyright infringement,” says the opposition filed this week to Universal’s motion to dismiss late last month the lawsuit over the proposed pic about the WWI creation of the UK’s MI6. The intelligence agency is the same one Bond works for in the Ian Fleming books and their hugely successful big screen adaptations. “Accordingly, this action is not, as Universal claims, “premature,’” the June 25th filing adds with a slap on the Comcast-owned studio’s past attempts to “to trivialize the monetary damages its infringing conduct has thus far inflicted.” And MGM and the Bond producers are more than a little peeved at the legal maneuvers Universal are using to get the matter out of the courts. “Universal’s reliance on the assertion that it did not write or contribute to the Screenplay is inconsequential,” says the filing (read it here) from Robert Schwartz, Cassandra Seto, and Brian Finkelstein of LA’s O’Melveny & Myers and Marc Becker of LA firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan.

DJP LEGAL BADGEThis all started in the federal courts on April 3 when MGM and Danjaq whacked Universal for unspecified damages and an injunction against the announced … Read More »

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Universal Wants “Needless” Bond Copyright Suit From MGM & 007 Producer Tossed

By | Tuesday May 27, 2014 @ 4:08pm PDT

DJP LEGAL BADGEIn a move that comes as about as much as a surprise as James Bond liking his martini shaken not stirred, Universal today responded to the multi-claim Section 6 lawsuit from MGM and Bond producer Danjaq with a request that the federal court throw out the “threadbare allegations about hypothetical future infringement in works yet to be produced.” In fact, Universal accuses MGM and Danjaq of using the possibility of their Aaron Berg-written WWI-themed pic about the formation of the UK’s MI6 as a Universal-Pictures-logo-2013__140130232555__140321183123-275x141__140404181950__140414173547pretense for larger aims. “In an effort to claim an unfounded monopoly on the British spy genre, and to scare away Universal and any other would-be competitors to James Bond, Plaintiffs rushed to file this needless action,” notes today’s filing (read it here). Berg himself has also filed a heavily redacted motion for dismissal (read it here) for his “undeniably original creative work.” This latest move from entertainment legal mastermind Bert Fields and Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger LLP partner Aaron Moss requests a June 30 hearing on the motion for Universal Studios and NBCUniversal Media, LLC. Represented by David Aronoff and Amber Henry of LA firm Lathrop & Gage LLP, scribe Berg is seeking the same date for a hearing on his motion too.

“Universal moves to dismiss on the ground that the Complaint states no claims upon which relief may be granted against Universal,” says the 19-page filing … Read More »

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UPDATE: MGM & Bond Producer Slam Universal In Latest ‘Section 6′ Lawsuit Action

By | Monday April 14, 2014 @ 4:14pm PDT

DJP LEGAL BADGEUPDATED, 4:10 PM: The Section 6 lawsuit that sees two studios pitted against each other is starting to move faster than the opening sequence of a James Bond movie. Just three days after Universal responded to the multi-claim complaint from MGM and Bond producer Danjaq, the plaintiff today fired back with a response to the response. “Defendants thus admit that they not only have no plans to stop their infringing conduct, but that they are forging ahead—right now,” says today’s 4-page filing in federal court (read it here). “Even worse, as Universal knows from public reports, plaintiffs are investing hundreds of millions of dollars in the next James Bond motion picture,Universal-Pictures-logo-2013__140130232555__140321183123-275x141__140404181950 slated for theatrical release in October 2015 and home video release in early 2016,” the filing adds. On April 3, MGM and Danjaq hit Universal with a complaint for unspecified damages and an injunction against the announced Aaron Berg-written World War I spy drama. The plaintiffs charged that mgm__130913144151-200x137__131115203538Section 6 was a rip-off of the James Bond properties, which they own. On April 11, Universal claimed in a filed of its own that the film was not even greenlighted and was still in the very early stages of development and did not infringe on the Bond copyright at all when the script was in its final form. “In essence, Universal’s response is to claim: ‘Just trust us, we’re trying to fix it. But it will take time.,’” the filing says. “That is no basis for Universal to avoid the targeted discovery plaintiffs seek. Without that expedited discovery, any attempt by plaintiffs to obtain preliminary relief would be tantamount to shooting at a moving target. The Court cannot possibly ascertain the status quo under such circumstances, let alone fashion appropriate relief to address it.” Judge Dean D. Pregerson will have to weigh in on this soon, but it sounds like both studios can use an M to separate them in this you said/I said schoolyard brawl.

PREVIOUSLY, 10:39 AM: Looks like Universal have brought their own legal license to kill on board in the Section 6 lawsuit with MGM and James Bond producer Danjaq — in more ways than one. Just over a week after being hit by a multi-claim copyright infringement suit by the duo, the studio has responded and they’ve brought a top operative in Bert Fields to handle things for them. Read More »

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MGM & Bond Producer End Long Legal Battle Royale With ‘Thunderball’ Co-Scribe

By | Friday November 15, 2013 @ 12:10pm PST

MGM and the producer of the James Bond movies have finally acquired all of the rights to the 007 franchise. After a legal battle royale that has gone on more than 50 years, the studio and Danjaq today announced they now have all of the rights and interests to the British spy held by Kevin McClory and his estate. McClory worked with Bond creator Ian Fleming and writer Jack Whittingham on a script for Thunderball in the late 1950s. McClory would later claim he helped created a number of iconic elements of the Bond world and gave the character a more movie-friendly persona. No details of the agreement or a settlement have been released. However, I’ve learned that the agreement over the long-standing dispute was finalized between the parties in the last two weeks.

Related: It’s Official: Sam Mendes To Direct Bond #24 Read More »

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James Bond Team Of Michael G. Wilson And Barbara Broccoli Set For Producers Guild Honor

By | Wednesday October 30, 2013 @ 10:00am PDT

LOS ANGELES, CA (October 30, 2013) – The Producers Guild of America (PGA) announced today that Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli of EON Productions will receive the 2014 David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Motion Pictures. The award will be presented to Wilson and Broccoli at the 25th Annual Producers Guild Awards ceremony on Sunday, January 19th at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles.

“We’re honored to be associated with the legendary David O. Selznick and delighted to be receiving this award along with its previous recipients,” said Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli.

The Producers Guild of America’s David O. Selznick Achievement Award recognizes a producer’s outstanding body of work in motion pictures. The honor has a rich and distinguished history with past recipients including such legendary producers as Stanley Kramer, Saul Zaentz, Clint Eastwood, Billy Wilder, Brian Grazer, Jerry Bruckheimer, Roger Corman, Laura Ziskin, Kathleen Kennedy & Frank Marshall, Steven Spielberg and last year’s recipients Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner.

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TOLDJA! Sam Mendes To Direct Bond #24

By | Thursday July 11, 2013 @ 9:06am PDT

Deadline reported in May that Sony Pictures and MGM were in talks for Skyfall helmer Sam Mendes to return behind the camera for the next installment of the James Bond franchise. The studios, along with producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, today confirmed Mendes will direct, with Daniel Craig reprising his role as Bond for the fourth time. There was a lot of speculation about Mendes returning. In March, he said he had made the “very difficult decision” not to return, citing theater and TV commitments. Wilson and Broccoli seemed resigned and they moved on, but they ultimately circled back and decided to wait for Mendes to work through the other commitments. Those include a musical version of Charlie And The Chocolate Factory which bowed on London’s West End last month. At the premiere, he told Deadline that Bond was indeed a possibility. It’s good news for Skyfall fans. The Mendes-helmed pic grossed over $1.1B worldwide to become the biggest 007 film and the eighth-highest-grossing film of all time. John Logan is writing the next, as-yet untitled movie, which will bow in the UK on October 23, 2015 and in the U.S. on November 6, 2015. Here’s today’s official release:

CULVER CITY, Calif., July 11, 2013 – Producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, EON Productions; Gary Barber, Chairman & CEO, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer; Michael Lynton, CEO, Sony Entertainment, Inc, and Amy Pascal, Co-Chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment today announced that Daniel Craig will once again return as the legendary British secret agent in the 24th James Bond film and Sam Mendes will also return to direct the screenplay written by John Logan. The film is set for release in UK theaters on October 23, 2015 and in US theaters on November 6, 2015.

SKYFALL™, the 23rd James Bond film, took in $1.1 billion worldwide and set a new mark as the highest-grossing film of all time in the UK; it was the best-selling Bond film on DVD/Blu-ray and was the most critically acclaimed film in the history of the longest-running film franchise.

Commenting on the announcement, Wilson and Broccoli said, “Following the extraordinary success of SKYFALL, we’re really excited to be working once again with Daniel Craig, Sam Mendes and John Logan.”

“I am very pleased that by giving me the time I need to honour all my theatre commitments, the producers have made it possible for me to direct Bond 24. I very much look forward to taking up the reins again, and to working with Daniel Craig, Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli for a second time,” said Mendes.

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Pinewood Sees Jump In Profits; Expansion Remains A Priority

Pinewood Shepperton has had its share of good and bad news of late. The home of the James Bond franchise is reporting a significant increase in operating profit for the fiscal year, has a steady stream of productions on its stages and is growing abroad. But, it’s still facing a stubborn local council that’s twice rejected its UK expansion plans, most recently in May. A public inquiry into the matter begins November 19. CEO Ivan Dunleavy notes, “Our customers are concerned that the company has sufficient capacity to meet their needs… The need for further, effective infrastructure to meet demand for the UK is a priority.”

Revenue for the 2012/2013 fiscal year ended March 31 was £63M ($96.3M) with operating profit of $8.25M versus $4.13M in the previous period. Among recent films to shoot at Pinewood are The Muppets… Again! and Maleficient. Upcoming are Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella, Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy and Star Wars: Episode VII. Read More »

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Sam Mendes Back In The Picture To Direct Next James Bond Film

By | Tuesday May 28, 2013 @ 2:32pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures and MGM have started talks for Sam Mendes to return and direct Daniel Craig in the next installment of the James Bond franchise. Mendes helmed the last installment, Skyfall, an audience-pleasing film that grossed over $1.1 billion worldwide to become the biggest Bond film and the eighth-highest-grossing film of all time. John Logan is writing the next film.

There has been much speculation on whether Mendes would come back — right now he’s knee-deep preparing for the West End launch of the stage musical Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, which will then move to Broadway. That happened because Mendes bowed out, claiming that musical and King Lear were his new priorities and producers Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli seemed resigned and they moved on. Recently, he and the producers got back in touch. While Mendes’ first love is theater, it became clear that the producers wanted him and he wanted to return, and the only thing standing in the way were these stage commitments that Mendes felt obligated to do. So, they’ve decided to wait for him to work through those other commitments, and he’s now making a deal to start production probably next year. What’s the hurry? Craig doesn’t seem to have aged since he took the Bond role; he’s always in rocking shape. While Mendes looked doubtful, a bunch of names have been floated in the press, from Ang Lee to Nicolas Winding Refn and Christopher Nolan. I’m not sure there is much validity to any of them, but now it is a moot point, because Mendes will be the director of the next Bond. Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: Warp Films; Paris’ Summer Drive-In; 007 Book; M6 & 20th TV

By | Monday April 15, 2013 @ 9:00pm PDT

Warp Films Ramps Up TV Fare In Deal With ITVSGE
UK indie production company Warp Films is looking to increase its TV output and has signed a first-look development deal with ITV Studios Global Entertainment. The BAFTA-winning Warp previously produced This Is England ’86 and the This Is England ’88. It’s currently producing drama serial Southcliffe for Channel 4. Warp will ramp up its TV development activity with ITVSGE in the coming weeks and the latter will handle the slate internationally. On the feature side, Warp recently produced Richard Ayoade’s Submarine and has the upcoming The Stone Roses: Made Of Stone and Yann Demange thriller 71 on its slate.

Paris Gets A Summer Drive-In
You have to hand it to the French for their summertime moviegoing initiatives. There’s the open-air cinema at the Parc de la Villette and the Fête du Cinéma in June during which ticket prices are slashed across the country. Exhibitor MK2 is adding a new layer this summer by morphing Paris’ Grand Palais museum into a drive-in movie theater from June 10-21. The historic monument that’s just off the Champs-Elysées will welcome up to 1,000 moviegoers per showing in a 1,300 square foot space filled with old and new model Fiats and surrounded by a diner, a gaming arcade and a roller rink that becomes a dance floor at night. Among the movies screening over the 11 day event that’s dubbed Cinema Paradiso are Pulp Fiction, Grease, The Big Lebowski, Taxi Driver, Psycho and Annie Hall. Tickets go on sale April 26. Read More »

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Sam Mendes Won’t Direct Bond 24: Report

By | Wednesday March 6, 2013 @ 5:24am PST

He directed the highest-grossing James Bond movie of all time, but with a full dance card, Skyfall helmer Sam Mendes has told Empire Magazine that he will not return to the 007 franchise for the next installment. “It has been a very difficult decision not to accept Michael and Barbara’s very generous offer to direct the next Bond movie,” he said. “Directing Skyfall was one of the best experiences of my professional life, but I have theater and other commitments including productions of Charlie And The Chocolate Factory and King Lear, that need my complete focus over the next year and beyond.” Mendes is also working with Skyfall co-writer John Logan on psychosexual horror series, Penny Dreadful, for Showtime with production eyed to begin in London in the second half of the year. Logan is penning the next two Bond pictures.

Producers Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli didn’t rule out the possibility of working with the director again, however. “We thoroughly enjoyed working with Sam, he directed our most successful Bond movie ever, Skyfall. We would have loved to have made the next film with him, but completely respect his decision to focus on other projects and hope to have the opportunity to collaborate with him again,” they said.

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OSCARS: ‘Les Mis’ Cast, Jennifer Hudson, Catherine Zeta-Jones To Sing Live In Musicals Tribute; Show Producers Reveal More Behind-The-Scenes Details

By | Wednesday February 20, 2013 @ 4:32am PST
Pete Hammond

EXCLUSIVE: Jennifer Hudson for Dreamgirls and Catherine Zeta-Jones for Chicago will be performing their Oscar-winning roles on Sunday’s Academy Awards as part of a celebration honoring the resurgence of movie musicals of the last decade. In the same segment revisiting their roles from this year’s Best Picture contender Les Miserables will be several of the film’s key cast members including Oscar nominees (and former Oscar hosts) Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway along with Russell Crowe, Eddie Redmayne, Aaron Tevit, Samantha Barks, and Helena Bonham Carter.

This year’s Oscar show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who last month announced the musical tribute would be part of their show, have kept the participants who will be singing a secret until finally first breaking the news to Deadline this morning.

They have produced musicals for film like Chicago and Hairspray, for television films like Cinderella and The Music Man, on Broadway with How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying and Promises Promises, and on series TV with their current NBC drama Smash. Music is obviously in Zadan and Meron’s DNA and, as evidenced by the musical talent they are luring to the telecast, that is clearly what their Oscar show is going to be all about. Host Seth MacFarlane will be merging music with his comedy bits right from the opening as well. Read More »

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OSCARS: Shirley Bassey To Make First-Ever Appearance On Telecast

By | Friday February 8, 2013 @ 8:01am PST

Would a tribute to the James Bond franchise’s 50th anniversary be complete without the woman who sang the theme song to Goldfinger? Shirley Bassey will make her first-ever appearance on the Oscars on February 24, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced today. They also said that composer-arranger William Ross will conduct the orchestra, marking the third time he has done so for the Academy Awards. Here’s the release on Bassey:

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – Dame Shirley Bassey will make a special appearance on the Oscars®, show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced today.

“We are thrilled to welcome the legendary Dame Shirley Bassey to our Oscar show,” said Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. “Her association with film music is world renowned and we are proud that she will be making her first Oscar appearance on our telecast.

Bassey is this year celebrating her very own “Diamond Jubilee” with a career spanning over six decades. She has recorded over 44 albums, sold over 135 million records and has sold out concert halls across the world. In June 2012, she was one of a number of esteemed artists, including Elton John, Paul McCartney and Annie Lennox, who performed at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Concert. In the United States, Bassey is best known for recording the theme songs for the James Bond films “Goldfinger,” “Diamonds Are Forever” and “Moonraker.”

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OSCARS: New James Bond Promo Ad

By | Friday February 1, 2013 @ 10:43am PST

Seth MacFarlane has been riffing promo ads for his Oscar-hosting gig since nominations were announced. Here’s the latest one to tout the ceremony’s planned James Bond tribute.

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Sky/BBC America Biopic ‘Fleming’ Adds Cast

By | Friday January 25, 2013 @ 6:17am PST

A group of actors including Da Vinci’s Demons’ Lara Pulver is joining the cast of Sky Atlantic/BBC America‘s biopic Fleming. The upcoming four-part drama stars Dominic Cooper as James Bond creator-author Ian Fleming and, as I reported last week, also has Annabelle Wallis lined up as Muriel Wright, the original inspiration for the Bond Girl. Sky confirms today that Pulver will play Ann O’Neill, with whom Fleming had a longterm on-off relationship before she became his wife in 1952. She is said to have heavily influenced the writer: a year after they wed, the first 007 book, Casino Royale, was published. Mr Selfridge‘s Samuel West is also aboard as Admiral John Godfrey, with whom Fleming worked during WWII and who put him in charge of Operation Golden Eye. Godfrey is generally accepted to have been the inspiration for the M character in the Bond books. British actress Lesley Manville will play Fleming’s mother Eve and British actor Rupert Evans will play his brother Peter. The Hour‘s Anna Chancellor is taking on the part of Lieutenant Monday, an inspiration for Miss Moneypenny. Read More »

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OSCARS: Academy President Defends Controversial Online Voting, Says More Members Voted Than Ever Before

Pete Hammond

Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences President Hawk Koch vigorously defended the Academy’s controversial new system of online voting when we spoke right after the nominations announcement this morning. He said despite the kinks and some complaints from members about difficulty in voting electronically that it actually brought out the biggest voter participation the organization has had. “It’s the first time, yes. But the first time you do anything of course there’s problems. Remember the first time you walked?  Of course there’s problems.  But the truth is we’ve had more people voting for nominations than we’ve ever had. And we had more people in each branch, every single branch had more people voting. So that portends two things. One, the online voting worked and two, everyone was excited about the films this year. They wanted to make sure and vote. And three, the questions about ’oh has everybody had a chance to see all the films?’ Our members saw all the films,” he said breaking with the long held tradition of keeping Academy voter turnout totals secret and not commenting at all on the subject. There had been speculation the Academy’s sometimes-rocky transition into online voting might actually depress voter participation but Koch said that definitely turned out not to be the case according to their internal figures.

Of course the Academy has been under strong scrutiny for the way it has conducted its first foray into the perilous waters of online voting, something every guild and most voting organizations have been doing for the past few years. Because the Academy (which could be a prized target for hackers) has to be overly concerned about security and the threat of having their system infiltrated they devised a “foolproof” system involving the use of codes and passwords and special phone numbers for member verification which confused some members and angered others. Others I spoke with over the course of voting seemed fine with it, so it was a mixed bag. The Academy tried to accommodate everyone and extended the registration period by two weeks after the first Deadline article appeared on November 28, and later changed its rules to automatically send a paper ballot for those who didn’t register online. As more members expressed frustration about being “locked out” of the system the Academy took another unprecedented step and even extended voting by one day to January 4th instead of the original announced date of January 3rd. Read More »

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Perennially Ignored By Academy Voters, James Bond Gets Oscarcast Tribute

By | Friday January 4, 2013 @ 6:26am PST
Mike Fleming

James Bond Oscar Tribute SkyfallBREAKING: It has only taken 007 half a century to get his due from the Academy. Oscars exec producers will include a tribute to the James Bond franchise, it was announced this morning. It’s a good idea from the standpoint of getting the masses interested in avoiding a snore-fest like last year, but the timing is also fortuitous for honoring moviedom’s most enduring feature franchise.

The most recent installment, the Sam Mendes-directed Skyfall, recently became the first 007 film to crack the $1 billion worldwide gross mark; also, Bond celebrated its 50-year anniversary with the Skyfall release.

Related: Academy Celebrates 50 Years Of James Bond Music From ‘Goldfinger’ To ‘Skyfall’

It is a remarkable exception to how the Academy has historically dismissed the James Bond films as award-worthy. Only 1964′s Goldfinger and 1965′s Thunderball won awards, and they were for Best Effects. The 2006 film Casino Royale, which introduced Daniel Craig as 007 and is on my Top 10 favorite films, didn’t get a single Oscar nomination. Perhaps this year will be different — Javier Bardem’s villain character in Skyfall has so far been nominated for SAG and PGA Awards. I’m not sure about a Best Picture nomination, because there are so many worthy films up against Skyfall. At least the series will get a little bit of love from Oscar. Has 007 been done an injustice all these years by Oscar?

Here’s the official announcement: Read More »

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‘Skyfall’ Becomes UK’s Highest-Grossing Film Of All Time

By | Wednesday December 5, 2012 @ 2:44am PST

It was already the biggest film of the year and the best 007 movie ever in the UK. Now, Skyfall has achieved yet another milestone to become the highest-grossing film ever in the territory. In 40 days of release, the 23rd James Bond movie has grossed £94,277,612 ($151,795,059) at the box office to overtake the previous record held by James Cameron’s Avatar, Eon Productions, MGM and Sony Pictures announced this morning. The Sam Mendes-directed Skyfall opened in 587 British theaters October 26 and has been breaking records ever since. Producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli commented, “We’re overwhelmed with gratitude to the cinema-going audiences in the UK who have made Skyfall the highest-grossing film of all time. We are very proud of this film and thank everybody, especially Daniel Craig and Sam Mendes, who have contributed to its success.” As of Sunday, Skyfall‘s North American cume was $245.9M.

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‘Skyfall’ Expected To Exceed $800M In Worldwide Box Office Sales

By | Thursday November 15, 2012 @ 2:58pm PST

MGM chief Gary Barber presented the forecast to his company’s investors today, saying that the film will become “the highest-grossing Bond film of all time.” He adds that Skyfall is performing “substantially above our expectations.” Barber also confirmed that the film’s screenwriter John Logan “has begun developing the scripts for the next two Bond films”, which we scooped last month. He provided no details about the plans, though. Privately held MGM, which is considering going public, went all out to generate interest in the Bond franchise ahead of Skyfall. The company’s Blu-ray package, Bond 50: The Complete 22 Film Collection, was “a tremendous success at retail,” Barber says. MGM also created a temporary channel in the UK, Sky Movies 007 HD, that showed off the studio’s Bond library.

Related:
MGM Chief Gary Barber Tells Investors He’ll Stay Through 2017
‘Skyfall’ Explodes With $515M Worldwide And $90M Domestic Opening

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