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Amazon Prime Move Comes at Crucial Moment for James Bond Franchise

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There was some great news for James Bond recently when Amazon announced its Prime streaming service will be the new home of all 25 James Bond movies in key territories including the United States and the United Kingdom. From October 5, 2022, all the movies from Dr No through to last year’s No Time to Die will be available to stream for an unspecified limited period.

The end of an era

The Daniel Craig era brought unprecedented success by essentially rebooting Bond as a grittier and more vulnerable character. When Casino Royale was released in 2006, it also felt like a fresh start even if the film was essentially a remake. The Casino scenes are some of the most iconic in the franchise, reigniting ideals of old-school glamor and suave decision-making at the poker table, perhaps tapping into the rising popularity that was spreading across Europe as online casino betting at Paddy Power and other sites was on the rise. It’s really no surprise that the growth of these went hand in hand with both James Bond and casinos anchored in the thrill of the individual going against the odds. The producers’ ability to tap into popular cultural trends could play a big part in the decision-making process for choosing the next Bond.

Future direction yet to be revealed

It’s clear that the franchise is at a crucial moment in its history as it celebrates its 60th anniversary and continues the recruitment process for the next 007. Just how the Bond films will proceed following the shock ending to Daniel Craig’s last outing is anyone’s guess but rumors of a reboot including spin-off movies in a Marvel-style Bond universe have already begun.

The move to Prime was widely expected following Amazon’s $8.5 billion acquisition of MGM studios in 2021. The big question now is whether Amazon will continue the tradition of releasing the Bond movies through the cinema theater network or move them direct to streaming. Considering the financial commitment required to produce a Bond title, it would make sense to take advantage of the profit opportunities of a blockbuster theater release. And with creative control still in the hands of long-time producers, Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, Amazon may not have the final say.

Big names in the frame

The bookmakers currently have Superman actor Henry Cavill as the 4/1 favorite to be cast as the next James Bond ahead of Rege-Jean Page, Tom Hardy, and Idris Elba. In No Time to Die, English actress Lashana Lynch was cast as MI6 agent Nomi and given the title “007” after James Bond was temporarily exiled from his role. So, after introducing a female 007, could the producers spring another surprise with the casting of the next Bond? The executives have a history of hiring actors who are not yet household names. Neither Sean Connery, Timothy Dalton or Daniel Craig was known as Hollywood leading men when they were chosen, so it might be worth looking outside of the likes of Cavill and Elba. Whoever they choose, an announcement could be made before the end of the year or early next.

In the meantime, Prime viewers can enjoy the back catalogs of movies featuring all the previous Bonds. The launch will also feature the release of the documentary “The Sound of 007” and a recording of a live charity concert of Bond music from the Royal Albert Hall.