Spy Movie News Article – August 24, 2021

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Contributed by: Dan Silvestri and Tom Pizzato - Spy Movie Navigator

Here is our Spy Movie News for August 24, 2021: Amazon and MGM Fast and Loose, Argylle, Mission: Impossible 7 James Bond – say what?,  Martin Campbell, The Gray Man, and industry news!

James Bond

No Time To Die News!

One BIG announcement is the solidification of the official premiere for No Time To Die.   We’ve been watching for this announcement for a while and have been reading different dates, but the Official Bond twitter account has announced that No Time To Die will have its official premiere on September 28th at Royal Albert Hall in London.  Daniel Craig, Michael G. Wilson, Barbara Broccoli and director Cary Joji Fukunaga will attend the premiere. 

Royal Albert Hall was originally going to be the premiere site with the earlier premier dates that had to be delayed to due to the pandemic.  We’d been speculating the 28th at the Royal Albert Hall but thought we were wrong because two other events are scheduled there on September 28th.  So, this surprised us a bit.    Anyway, this is great news!  Confirmed!  

One release date change announced, however, at this point ,only affects AustraliaNo Time To Die has pushed the release date in Australia from September 30th to November 11th due to the current COVID situation there.  This probably makes sense, but really makes it tough on the James Bond fans there.  Of course, this may open the door to other release date changes as well, as the global Covid situation is assessed. 

Say What? 

Ok, tell us if this makes any sense at all.   You are getting ready to release the last Daniel Craig James Bond movie.  Kids, who couldn’t drive to see Spectre in the US because they were not yet 16 when that movie came out and thus didn’t have a driver’s license, will now be able to stop for a beer on the way home as they will be older than the 21-year-old drinking age here when the go see No Time To Die. And you’re going to make it hard for them to stream all of the Daniel Craig Bond movies in advance of No Time To Die’s release?  Because, that’s what is going on.  Is anyone involved in marketing thinking at all?  Left hand, meet right hand as we slap our forehead with both.   

We usually watch the last few Bond movies before we go see the new one.  That is especially true for this one as it is supposed to tie up the Daniel Craig arc that rebooted the series. Add to that the six-year gap between releases and a refresher could be helpful. 

Mike Reyes has a great article talking about what Daniel Craig Bond movies are available for streaming.  Amazingly, you can’t see them all on one platform.   Casino Royale (2006) and Quantum of Solace (2008) are leaving Netflix at the end of August.   What is going on here?  They should be hyping the Daniel Craig movies so that people want to see how the arc ends.  At least that’s our opinion.   That said, read Mike’s article.  It points you to where each of the Daniel’s Bond movies is available for streaming, and they are not all in one place.  Make it hard on us, yikes!

Will Martin Campbell Direct Another James Bond Movie? 

According to an article by Jamil David on Cinemablend.com, Casino Royale, and GoldenEye director, Martin Campbell was asked on a Reddit AMA if he’d consider doing another Bond movie.  His response was: “Yes, I would. I love the franchise, and it would be with a new Bond, which is always interesting, especially given my two Bond movies had different Bonds.”  He had Peirce Brosnan and Daniel Craig in his first two Bond movies.

We’d love to see that. 

Campbell’s current movie, The Protégé,  was just released to US theaters this past weekend.  That movie is about the world’s most skilled contract killer.  We have a quick-fire, no spoilers podcast on The ProtégéClick here to listen to it.

  

INDUSTRY NEWS 

AMC Theaters has reached a deal with Warner Bros. to shorten the theatrical window 

Just as Warner Bros. did with Cineworld, they reached a deal to release their slate of movies in 2022 with AMC with a 45-day theatrical window.   We’ve commented on quite a few of these deals as the industry is dealing with COVID-19 and the strong demand for streaming content.  We’re happy to see this as we prefer to see spy movies in a theater first.   That is the best experience in our opinion.   

Labor Unions Oppose Amazon-MGM takeover 

In the last few newscasts, we’ve been talking about the Amazon-MGM takeover.   Well, an article by Todd Spangler on Variety.com tells us that four major labor unions which represent close to 4 million people want the FTC to say “No” to the deal. 

They have sent a letter to the FTC and are asking for the stoppage of the deal because they don’t want Amazon to gain more power and are worried about anti-competitive business practices.  They claim Amazon has a history of gaining market share with unfair and anti-competitive practices. 

The Unions involved are the Service Employees International Union, The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the Communications Workers of America, and United Farmworkers.   

This is going to get interesting.  Can the opposition keep Amazon from the takeover? We’ll have to wait and see. 

Scarlett Johansson Lawsuit against Disney

This one is getting interesting.  In our last Spy Movie newscast, we asked if Disney’s decision to stream Black Widow would hurt theater sales.  Well, Scarlett Johansson thinks it did and that it has cost her some income.  In her lawsuit, she claims that the simultaneous streaming and theatrical release hurt her revenue per her contract. And, it says this day-and-date release by Disney was in direct violation of her contract which required an exclusive theatrical release.   Day-and-Date, by the way, is an industry term for movies that simultaneously in theaters and streaming.  In her contract, a large part of her salary is tied to the box office success of the movie.  She claims that she tried to renegotiate her contract once Disney decided to simultaneously distribute the movie, but Disney didn’t respond to her then. 

After the lawsuit was filed, Disney wrote what we think was a nasty response, including letting us know how much Scarlett has made from the movie.  That isn’t the way to endear yourself to talent.   If they keep this up will other talent stay away from Disney?  Disney said the lawsuit was “especially sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic”.  We think that might have been a little out of line.   If this is just a contract dispute and her contract had a theatrical release window, this lawsuit could get interesting.  Especially if she did try to renegotiate.  We’re not lawyers, but wow.

Warner Bros avoided this mess by renegotiating its contracts with its talent.  Disney may be wishing they did too as other talent is looking closely at this case.  

Now we are hearing that Disney wants to move the case to arbitration in New York instead of the current Los Angeles courts. This would keep the proceedings confidential. Johansson and her legal team are asserting that the company’s most recent move is an attempt to “hide its misconduct in a confidential arbitration.” 

We’ll keep an eye on this one and let you know what happens. 

If you want to dive deeper into this lawsuit and people’s reactions to it, there have been a lot of articles written about this lawsuit on Cinemablend.com and Hollywood Reporter, with each of them giving numerous people’s reactions to the suit.   

 

Upcoming Spy Movies 

Fast & Loose 

Will Smith has signed up for a Netflix movie titled Fast & Loose, which sounds like it has some similarities to Bourne Identity.  According to an article on Cinemablend.com, Smith’s character wakes up and can’t remember anything.  He has to piece together what appear to be two different former lives, one as a CIA Agent.  Sound familiar Bourne fans?  Well, the twist here is that his other life was as a crime kingpin.  Which is his real life?   We’ll need to wait for Fast & Loose to be released to find out. 

Argylle 

In last month’s Spy Movie News we told you that the book Argylle is being made into a movie, directed by Matthew Vaughan of The Kingman series.  The star-studded cast includes Henry Cavill, Bryce Dallas Howard, Samuel L. Jackson and more. 

This month we read in an article by Sarah El-Mahmoud, that Apple Original Films has a $200 million deal they are trying to wrap up for Argylle.  So, this one looks like it is going to land on Apple TV+.  We really miss the big screen experience. 

Argylle, like The Gray Man, is supposed to be a series of books creating a spy franchise.   Given that Henry Cavill is one of the names we see bandied about to become the next James Bond, if Argylle takes off, that could be the end of that idea or a very hard call for Cavill to make. 

The Gray Man Wraps Filming 

We’ve been talking about The Gray Man for a while now.  This is the Russo Brothers movie with Ryan Gosling, Chris Evans based on Mark Greaney’s novel of the same name.  Well, Rich Knight has an article that tells us that The Gray Man has wrapped. As everything except Mission: Impossible seems to be doing, this is a Netflix production.   

As we’ve discussed before, so far there are nine books in The Gray Man series, and, assuming the first one is a success, Netflix plans to continue making The Gray Man movies.   

As a reference, 25 James Bond movies, including No Time to Die, have been produced by EON Productions based on Ian Fleming’s 12 James Bond novels and two short story collections.  Following that example might be a good idea.  There might be lots of The Gray Man movies in the future.

All that said, the important thing is that they’ve wrapped the movie but have not set a release date yet. 

Mission: Impossible 7 

Rebecca Ferguson wraps 

Although the movie hasn’t wrapped filming, the seemingly endless filming of Mission: Impossible 7 continues. An article on Cinemablend.com shows an Instagram post from Rebecca Ferguson where she says she’s wrapped her part in Mission: Impossible 7.  There is a nice picture in the article taken by Christopher McQuarrie of her and Tom Cruise.  

Mission: Impossible 7 has been filming for about a year now.  The pandemic has thrown a large monkey wrench into the production schedule.   Remember they are supposed to be filming Mission: Impossible 8 fairly soon after wraps.   Talk about a strain on the cast and crew’s schedule.  We’re certain they will be quite relieved when this is over. 

McQuarrie Thanks The Crew 

In a related article, Christopher McQuarrie posted an Instagram with a shout out to, First AD, Mary Boulding’s hitting her 100th day in that role for Mission: Impossible 7.  The article points out that most movies are done filming in less that 100 days so this is a big deal.  It’s great to see the director call out crew members, especially as the end of filming is in sight. We see so many articles with people talking about the actors, who are important.  But the crew often doesn’t get the same treatment.  So kudo’s to Chris for acknowledging Mary Boulding and kudos to all the cast and crew for sticking with this impossible filming schedule due to the pandemic. 

 

IN MEMORIAM 

Alex Cord (1933-2021)  

We’re sad to report the passing of actor Alex Cord.   Although probably best known for playing Archangel on the tv show “Airwolf”.  Alex was also one of the leads in the 1992 spy movie CIA Codename: Alexa. 

Mark Tarlov (1952-202) 

We also lost Mark Tarlov. In the spy world, he was a producer on The Man Who Knew Too Little. 

Dan Kneece (1956-2021) 

Cinematographer and Cameraman Dan Kneece also passed this month.   Kneece was a prolific cameraman and cinematographer with more than 180 credits in IMDB.  We like to highlight that Dan was a Steadicam operator on the 1992 Columbo episode titled No Time To Die