Prime Targets: Three MGM Properties Amazon Studios Should Focus On

This week the long saga of MGM being for sale was officially over as Amazon paid $8.45 billion for the historic production company and the home of franchises like Rocky/Creed, Pink Panther, RoboCop and the biggest of them all, James Bond.

It’s not just the films; it’s the 17,000 hours of TV shows like Vikings, The Handmade’s Tale, Stargate and all the unscripted shows.

The deal will take a year to go through the US courts, so there are no worries over No Time To Die going to Prime. It wouldn’t have happened anyway has Eon have signed deals with United Artists and Universal to distribute Daniel Craig’s final 007 outing.

Additionally, Eon’s Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson stated the British spy will stay in movie theatres.

“We are committed to continuing to make James Bond films for the worldwide theatrical audience,” they told Variety in a statement.

This is why Amazon buying MGM was the best move for everyone because they have a relationship with movie theatres. So I can see Amazon Studios’ CEO Jennifer Salke and studio head Mike Hopkins agree with the statement as the more eyes and money Bond makes in cinemas, the more eyes Prime will get when it releases on the streaming service.

As I mentioned above, many franchises could bring more eyes to Prime. With the Lord of the Rings series, Amazon can genuinely compete with Netflix, Disney and the upcoming Warner/Discovery.

So what could we see?

RoboCop

The property that Hopkins and Salke should get planning on first is the futuristic sci-fi policeman.

RoboCop is still beloved by those who grew up with the 80s cult classic, and I’ll fully admit I don’t like the Paul Verhoeven 1988 movie and much prefer the 2014 remake.

I believe the story and character are still profitable and would move the potential new story that District 9 Neil Blomkamp was attached and leave to a series as the story for the project would work better.

The rumoured titled Robocop Returns was being overseen by original screenwriters Ed Neumeier and Michael Miner with a latest (as of 2019) draft by Justin Rhodes (Terminator: Dark Fate). The story was looked at as a sequel to the original film.

The story would have reportedly seen Detroit fallen further into mayhem and criminal chaos when slain cop-turned-cyborg-hero RoboCop makes his triumphant return to clean up the streets.

Amazon could pick it up as a sequel to the original or keep that idea in the background for a future series and focus on rebooting it. If so, I wouldn’t be surprised the first people the streamer would turn to would be Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg.

The duo has had great success on Prime with The Boys and Invisible. The producers and studio having no issue making R-rated content and could be a match made in heaven.

Plus, in a series, you can give the story a bit of breathing room with audiences getting to know Alex Murphy as a person (two/three episodes max) before he becomes the cyborg hero in this futuristic Detroit.

Pink Panther

It a comedy classic that helped catapult Peter Sellers’ career in 1963 before helping it get back on track in 1975. However, apart from the Steven Martin lead 2006 and 2009 (which weren’t good), it’s only recently that a new project is being developed.

As in November, The Hollywood Reporter has started a brand new feature was in the works at MGM.

THR revealed Sonic the Hedgehog director Jeff Fowler will work with Chris Bremner, co-writer of Bad Boys for Life, on a live-action/ CGI. That sees a smooth operating inspector (no mention of Clouseau or a new character) suffers a traumatic event and now has a pink panther for an imaginary friend.

If this project continues at Amazon, it will be the perfect Prime exclusive, and I think getting Fowler is a decent hire, especially by how much of a surprise success Sonic was. It would be important to get the right pairing for the two roles.

For some reason, Hugh Jackman would be an excellent get as Pink Panther and let him be an Aussie who isn’t phased by being imaginary. While the inspector (I would go with Clouseau) would be someone who isn’t a massive name but Steve Coogan comes to mind.

James Bond

Before I continue with this new deal, Eon will continue to handle all things Bond, but with the new secured backing, Amazon will hope to get more from this franchise.

In return, Eon can expand their production company and focus on passion projects like Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool and continue to push The Rhythm Section because as the one person who saw it and loved it want to see more of Blake Lively kicking arse.

Additionally, I’ve always believed but can see even more now that Michael G. Wilson will retire after No Time To Die with the future secured. Letting sister Barbara Broccoli continue to shepherd the company and property with Michael’s son David promoted to his position.

Now let’s continue to talk about 007 because nothing will change that the British spy will continue to be in cinemas, but I would love to see them change it up a little go for a period piece putting the character in the 50s.

Before continuing, I don’t want, or there’s any need for many characters to have a spin-off like M or Q because they’re no interesting stories to be told.

Moneypenny Series

The first character to get a spin-off in this world should be Moneypenny. This is down to the fantastic work of Sam Mendes and Naomie Harris bring the character in Skyfall.

Moonlight director Barry Jenkins even pitched the idea as a movie to Broccoli before getting rejected. With money and new energy in the leadership, it could push it, especially a six-to-eight-episode series.

It could be either set before the events of Skyfall or in a post-Bond world after NTTD.

Nomi Series

The issue with a Moneypenny series post-NTTD is it would affect a possible Nomi series.

Depending on how popular Lashana Lynch’s character is from audiences once the film is out, you’ve got a new 007 with new threats in a modern/future world continuing the world Craig leaves.

It would be a min-series of three episodes of 90 minutes in length.

Young Bond

The one area that hasn’t been touched for decades is animation, maybe because of the awfulness of James Bond Jr, but reading the Young Bond novels, I can see them being the perfect introduction for parents to get their kids into the series.

I’d make them Prime-exclusive films and bring in some of the best animators and producers in the game like Sam Liu, Jay Olivia and Jim Krieg or give the reigns to a Japanese anime company to give an incredible look feel and style.

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