007 is heating up: Amazon, Apple reportedly join race for James Bond movie rights

It looks like a bidding war for the distribution rights to James Bond, which is set to premiere in 2019 with Daniel Craig at the helm.

The fight for the rights is getting pretty pricey as Apple and Amazon are entering the battle, trying to beat out Warner Bros., according to a report from The Hollywood Reporter (THR). MGM and Eon Productions, which co-own the film rights, but don’t distribute them, have been hearing pitches from studios for more than two years, according to THR.

Sony Pictures Entertainment had the rights from 2006, but that contract expired after Spectre, which premiered in 2015. Sony’s contract had the studio covering half of Spectre’s production costs, but it only received a quarter of the profits, according to The New York Times.

But having the rights to the newest 007 film could be a game-changer for the content providers who are trying to distinguish themselves in the streaming space. As Amazon and Apple are really trying to get ahead of the pack, these rights could be a step in the right direction.

According to THR’s sources, this new interest has made Warner Bros. want to close the deal to the rights — which are reportedly worth between $2 to $5bn — quickly. THR also claims that Apple’s new film and TV executives Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht are heading up the company’s efforts. Additionally, even though this is a one movie deal, it is reported they might be looking to strike a bigger deal, including potential TV rights.

Based on track records for content by the two streaming services, Amazon has a Best Picture Oscar for Manchester by the Sea and Amazon Studios will also distribute Woody Allen’s upcoming film Wonder Wheel independently for the first time this winter. Apple’s original content includes Planet of the Apps and a reboot of James Corden’s hit TV bit Carpool Karaoke.