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Amazon reveals first 'James Bond' project after acquiring MGM, and it's... not what we expected
The first new James Bond project of the Amazon era is underway.
Last week, Amazon sealed its deal to acquire MGM, giving the company control over (among other things), the James Bond film franchise and its future. We've known this was coming since last year, when news of the deal first surfaced, and we've been wondering for a while how Amazon's streaming needs might mesh, or not, with Bond's global brand. Now, the first Bond-themed project from Amazon has emerged, and it's... a reality competition series.
Yes, that's right, get ready for The Amazing Race meets James Bond. Variety reports that Amazon has greenlit 007's Road to a Million, a "Bond-style spin on a race around the world," from 72 Films, MGM Television, and Bond custodians Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson. The show will follow several two-person teams of contestant as the travel the globe, including visits to various Bond movie locations, competing in both physical and mental challenges, including finding hidden questions that will point the way to their next destination.
Beyond the use of Bond movie locales, it's not clear just how much the show will tie into Bond as a franchise, but the series promises a "cinematic format," and has already opened casting applications, so if you're interested, go ahead and try your luck. The prize at the end of it all for the winners is, you guessed it, one million Pounds.
Interestingly, Variety's report also notes that 007's Road to a Million has actually been developing at Amazon for several years, since before the news of an MGM acquisition surfaced. Announcing the show in the wake of the $8.5 billion deal just happens to be fortuitous timing, particularly since fans have been wondering for months exactly what the "AMGMazon" deal means for Bond.
Last year, when news of the deal first surfaced to the public, Barbara Broccoli -- who took over leadership of the Bond films from her father Albert R. "Cubby" Broccoli when he passed away in 1996 -- assured fans that theatrical releases are still in the cards for whatever Bond's future turns out to be.
“We focused on making the films for theatrical release and… I think that’s our position," she said. "[Amazon] certainly have told us that the films will be theatrical films in the future. And we’ll see what happens.”
Of course, when it comes to "the future" of Bond's cinematic life, things still feel very much unwritten. Broccoli and company made it very clear last year that they were more interested in celebrating Daniel Craig's No Time to Die curtain call than they were in announcing a replacement, and while fan speculation is rampant as always, there's still been no movement on the casting front. Shifting some of that energy over to spinoff streaming shows, however tangentially connected to Bond they really are, may have something to do with that, but at the moment 007's Road to a Million feels more like an amusing indicator of where we are in the streaming wars than anything else. If Bond's name is on it, will it sell? We'll find out when the series hits Prime Video.