James Bond Screenwriter Voices Concerns on Amazon’s MGM Purchase

John Logan worked on "Spectre" and "Skyfall"

Daniel Craig
Actor Daniel Craig attends 'Spectre' premiere at The Place on November 12, 2015 in Beijing, China.
Visual China Group via Getty Images/Visual China Group via Getty Images

Earlier this month, Amazon announced that it was purchasing MGM. To date, this has prompted a lot of discussion on what it all means – from the effect on streaming services to the future of media consolidation. For James Bond devotees, there’s a more direct question: how exactly is this going to affect future Bond films? Will they still be coming to the big screen? Is the next step for 007 an appearance as a Prime exclusive? There’s still a lot to be announced, and the unique aspects of the Bond film rights make the whole situation even more complicated.

One person who has fairly strong opinions on the deal, however, is screenwriter John Logan. Logan is well-versed with the character; among his credits are work on both Skyfall and Spectre. Logan recently took to the opinion pages of The New York Times to weigh in on the deal. Spoiler: he is very worried.

Logan writes that when he heard about Amazon’s purchase of MGM, “a chill went through me.” Why? His concern that Amazon taking a larger role in the franchise could lead to its more distinctive elements being removed. His concerns here are less specific to Amazon and more regarding corporate interference as a whole.

“From my experience, here’s what happens to movies when such concerns start invading the creative process: Everything gets watered down to the most anodyne and easily consumable version of itself,” he writes — and shares an anecdote about studio polling details suggesting that the film adaptation of Sweeney Todd, which he worked on, might benefit from losing its songs. You know, Sweeney Todd. The musical.

Logan holds out specific praise for producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson, and describes the process of making the films as familial. “We discussed and debated and came to a resolution, as families must, with no outside voices in the room,” Logan writes. And later, he points out that Bond “is being protected by people who love him.”

Could that change? It’s certainly possible to do a double-take when reading Logan’s article — the Bond films are not, say, David Lynchian forays into the collective unconscious, after all — but when you recall that the forthcoming No Time to Die involves idiosyncratic artists like Cary Joji Fukunaga and Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Logan’s argument picks up a lot of steam. And it seems like we’ll know before long if he’s right to be concerned about this deal.

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