If You Can’t Trust A Swiss Banker…

It is a strange, and often unreported quirk of Hollywood accounting that 007 movies are extremely profitable.  More so than many of their peers.  Usually, the very rough rule of thumb is that if a movie costs $100m to make, it costs the same again to promote and distribute, meaning it hasn’t even begun to claw back any money for the studio until it has passed this double figure.

When complex licensing arrangements and back end points deals are baked in, then it can be even more than double.  Of course, this curve can also climb exponentially the more the movie costs.

Bond bucks this trend as the power of the brand as a lifestyle statement is so high.  This is particularly true outside of the USA which has never really been the primary market for Bond.  Therefore frequently the initial production costs of a Bond movie, or at least a significant chunk of them, are already covered by extensive product placement and commercial tie-in deals.

Aston Martin cars, Tom Ford suits, Heineken beer, Smirnoff vodka, Omega watches, Walther firearms, Sunseeker yachts, Virgin Airlines.  The list is endless.  Brands loan or gift their products to the production, pay a small fortune for their products to appear in the movies and then pay even more to license Bond imagery for tie-in advertising that in turn boosts the movie profile around the release.  It’s a symbiotic commercial relationship.

So today’s news won’t be necessarily keeping anyone at EON Productions up at night.

The 25th James Bond movie,  No Time To Die, will be the most expensive yet clocking in at a production cost of $250 million.  This is from the Hollywood Reporter’s Bond special focussing on two of the actresses from the movie.

That is the same cost as Disney’s almost 100% CGI version of The Lion King.  The previous film Spectre was said to come in over $200 million but under this amount.

Bond movies are always expensive as Cubby Broccoli’s mantra was to:

”Put all the money on screen!”

This ethos holds to this day and real stunts are still favoured over CGI where possible, with large location shoots taking precedence over studio recreations. Indeed, Barbara Broccoli herself was on record as being disappointed with their last large-scale foray into CGI for Die Another Day.

One thing that doesn’t change is the modern Bond girl declaring herself as something different.  This goes all the way back to Anya Amasova in The Spy Who Loved Me being declared as 007’s equal during production.

Right Idea, Wrong Pussy!

The film apparently begins with Bond retired and living a quiet life in Jamaica.  Captain Marvel co-star Lashana Lynch is reportedly new holder of the 007 number when the movie begins.

The casting of a black woman in the 007 role caused an internet uproar, with people reacting as if James Bond himself had been gender and raced switched.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter the actress noted:

“[The reaction] doesn’t dishearten me. It makes me feel quite sad for some people because their opinions, they’re not even from a mean place – they’re actually from a sad place. It’s not about me. People are reacting to an idea, which has nothing to do with my life.”

Like many before her, Lynch was more concerned about not being just another Bond girl.  She was instrumental in developing her character with a lot of support from Daniel Craig, Cary Fukunaga, and co-writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge:

“Everyone was really responsive to having her be what I wanted. You’re given a fresh perspective on a brand-new black woman in the Bond world. I didn’t want someone who was slick. I wanted someone who was rough around the edges and who has a past and a history and has issues with her weight and maybe questions what’s going on with her boyfriend.”

No Time To Die is scheduled to arrive in theaters on April 8th, 2020.  Unfortunately for Lynch’s character 007 will be needing his number back at some point and ladies around Bond do have a high mortality rate.

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