Amazon announced it will buy MGM for $8.45 billion yesterday, setting up a restructuring of the top streaming outlets and adding more intrigue to the future of Hollywood and some big movie franchises.
“MGM has a vast, deep catalogue of much beloved intellectual property,” Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos told shareholders at the company’s annual meeting. “We can reimagine and develop that IP for the 21st century.”
MGM is the 97-year-old studio behind “Gone With the Wind,” “Gaslight” and “The Wizard of Oz.”
The roaring lion is also controlling the Bond franchise and future project ideas are already being speculated.
A “Blofeld” film, that would do for the Bond villain what Warner Bros. did for “The Joker,” to a remake of “Legally Blonde” with a more diverse cast, were at the top of a long list of rumors already swirling.
“If he [Bezos] hires the equivalent of Kevin Feige or Kathleen Kennedy, he might have success,” said Michael Pachter, managing director of equity research for the analysis firm Wedbush Securities, referring to the creative heads of Marvel and Lucasfilm at Disney.
“The fact that I can name those people tells you how hard it is to manage IP like that,” he said.
MGM also brings Amazon the massive library of unscripted TV shows including “Survivor,” “Shark Tank” and “The Voice.”
Reality super-producer Mark Burnett is an executive at MGM after selling the majority of his company to the studio in 2014.
“This is going to create existential challenges for all the companies that relied on Burnett because a lot of these shows will go internal,” said Rich Greenfield, a media and tech analyst at research firm LightShed Partners.
“The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Fargo,” both in the Disney corporate universe via their Hulu streaming alliance, may be tied up, as well as future “Creed” or “Rocky” projects, which were outsourced to Warner Bros.
Some notable IPs acquired by Amazon: “RoboCop,” “The Pink Panther,” “The Silence of the Lamb,” “The Magnificent Seven,” “War Games,” “Stargate,” “Species,” “Four Weddings and a Funeral,” “Poltergeist,” “Barbershop” and TV properties like aforementioned Burnett shows and “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” and “Willow.”