Variety reports that Sony is acquiring MGM/UA… which adds an interesting new twist to the Bond saga.
Years ago, long before DR. NO, writer/producer John McClory collaborated with 007 author Ian Fleming on an original Bond screenplay entitled THUNDERBALL. When the movie went nowhere, Fleming adapted it into a novel of the same name… which eventually became the basis for the fourth 007 movie…and thus began a long legal battle between MGM/UA and McClory, who claimed the right to make his own Bond movies. After decades of wrangling, McClory produced NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN, a remake of THUNDERBALL, for Warner Brothers starring Sean Connery. After that, McClory periodically announced new Bond pictures, none of which ever came to fruition.
A few years ago, McClory struck a deal with Sony, which announced a new, rival series of Bond movies to be produced by Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich. That sparked a new legal war between MGM/UA and Sony. The conflict was settled when MGM agreed to buy NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN and all rights to the movie from Sony… thus ending any chance of a rival 007 series.
The End is Never The End in this saga (Hey, that sounds like the title of a Bond movie, doesn’t it?) Now Sony not only gets back NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN but, it seems, the entire Bond franchise as well.