In a letter published by The New York Times, John Logan, co-screenplay writer of James Bond films “Skyfall” and “Spectre”, says he is worried about how the MGM and Amazon deal will affect the franchise.
The multiple Academy Award-nominated writer wrote that the deal could pose a danger to the beloved British-spy agent film series in the future. Why?
He explains that his worry is not borne out of bad faith in Amazon as a company. Instead, it is out of understanding the mammoth commercial enterprise that it is. The company, and all its units including Prime Video, are focused on customer retention and public appeal.
“In the context of the larger company, Amazon Prime Video is not chiefly about artists. It’s about attracting and retaining customers,” Logan wrote.
Thus, with the company owning about 50 per cent of James Bond future releases, they may start to suggest something different from the film’s tradition. Although, the writer thinks this may not happen anytime soon as Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson still own the other half of the film and will likely get their way on the creative angle. Yet, he adds that it may only be a matter of time. Logan asks:
“What happens if a bruising corporation like Amazon begins to demand a voice in the process? What happens to the comradeship and quality control if there’s an Amazonian overlord with analytics parsing every decision? What happens when a focus group reports they don’t like Bond drinking martinis? Or killing quite so many people? And that English accent’s a bit alienating, so could we have more Americans in the story for marketability?”
As proof that he is not exaggerating, he said that an internal poll suggested that “Sweeney Todd,” another film for which he wrote the screenplay, would be much more popular without its songs. He fears that with this kind of metrics, Amazon executives may exert pressure on the Bond franchise and turn it into something more appealing to a larger audience.
Is this a bad thing though? Logan thinks so. He argues that the ‘art and uniqueness’, ‘rough edges’, and ‘fire and passion’, may be sacrificed for something nearly unidentifiable, just for it to come off as inoffensive.
What do you think about John Logan’s fear? Should a progressive James Bond franchise be dreaded?
Logan won the Tony Award for his play “Red” and he was nominated for the Academy Awards for Best Screenplay for the film’s “The Aviator” and “Gladiator”. He believes that in the end, art will prevail and it does not have to pander to everyone’s feelings. You may also like to read our recent article Olivia Rodrigo breaks multiple records with debut album ‘Sour’.