Spy Movie News – June 29, 2021

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

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Here’s our June 29, 2021 Spy Movie News with news on Amazon, 007, Ian Fleming’s golf course,  Mission: Impossible 7, The Gray Man, No Time to Die, Regal Cinema James Bond marathon, Black Widow, Red Notice, Austin Powers, and more!


US Federal Trade Commission Will Scrutinize Amazon Purchase of MGM

As we discussed in the June 1st Spy Movie News, there was a chance that the US government might get involved with Amazon’s decision to acquire MGM.  Well, now we know what’s up.  The Federal Trade Commission (the FTC) will look into this acquisition. The US government is splitting up its efforts to investigate the conduct of four tech giants.   The FTC is looking into Amazon and Facebook, while the Department of Justice is looking into Google and Apple.  So, it makes sense that the FTC would look into this acquisition as well.

The big issue for Amazon is that the new chairwoman of the FTC, Lina Khan, has been an outspoken critic of Amazon, especially in the area of antitrust.

So, while nothing’s been decided yet, Amazon may have a few hurdles to clear if this acquisition is to be approved.   We don’t know the impact of a government rejection on MGM, but this could play out interestingly for the James Bond franchise.   The good thing about it is that this action by the FTC is unlikely to be resolved in time to have an impact on No Time To Die’s release.

You can read more in this article in The Wall Street Journal.

John Logan Does Not Look Like a Fan Of the Acquisition

This article on MovieWeb.com highlights John Logan’s concerns about Amazon acquiring MGM. Logan was one of the writers on Skyfall and Spectre so he knows the James Bond infrastructure.  Among John Logan’s quotes in the article are:

  • “What happens if a bruising corporation like Amazon begins to demand a voice in the process? What happens to the comradeship and quality control if there’s an Amazonian overlord with analytics parsing every decision? What happens when a focus group reports they don’t like Bond drinking martinis? Or killing quite so many people? And that English accent’s a bit alienating, so could we have more Americans in the story for marketability?”
  • “I can only hope that the powers that be at Amazon recognize the uniqueness of what they just acquired and allow and encourage this special family business to continue unobstructed.”
  • In the context of the larger company, Amazon Prime Video is not chiefly about artists. It’s about attracting and retaining customers. And when bigger companies start having a say in iconic characters or franchises, the companies tend to want more, not better

So, yeah, John Logan does not appear to be a fan of this acquisition.  Check out the article here.

In this similar article on Independent.co.uk , they wrap up John Logan’s feelings about this nicely:  John Logan is quoted as saying, “Please let 007 drink his martinis in peace. Don’t shake him, don’t stir him.”

I Want To Watch A New Blockbuster, Where Do I Go?

An article By Rebecca Rubin in Variety discusses movie audience’s frustration with the movie industry and the whole “We’re releasing this on streaming with special plans, without special plans, in a theater or all of the above or Oh wait, we’re changing our mind on how to release this.”

This is a good look at how all the options are frustrating people. Yes, as the industry is changing and the various platforms are buying or building their own content, it is tough for the movie lover to keep track of.  The corporations have to not only develop and market their movies, but they also have to educate the movie viewer as to where and how to see them.

Also, they have to deal with public perception on different release options.  At one point the article quotes someone talking about Disney + and Premier Access and how they dislike having to pay extra when they are already paying for Disney+ in order to see Cruella.  The article doesn’t just call out Disney, but HBO Max and Netflix as well.

We expect to see more articles like this as the industry is changing quickly and it is up to the fan to keep up and keep shelling out money regardless of how a movie is released.

So, fasten your seatbelts, this is going to be a very interesting couple of years as this all shakes out.


Filming Of Mission: Impossible 7 Halted Due to Positive COVID-19 Test

Despite the best efforts of Tom Cruise, Mission: Impossible 7 filming had to be halted for about 2 weeks due to a positive COVID-19 test.  The official statement says “We have temporarily halted production on Mission: Impossible 7 until June 14th, due to positive coronavirus test results during routine testing.

You can read more about this stoppage here on variety.com.

Our question is: are they back filming?  It’s 2 weeks after June 14th and we cannot find anything that says they are back filming!


No Time To Die Records

Mike Reyes has an article on CinemaBlend.com which talks about how with the release delays from the pandemic, No Time To Die is setting some James Bond records:

  1. It matches the longest gap between released Bond movies tying the 6-year gap between Licence to Kill and GoldenEye.
  2. Daniel Craig now has the record for the longest time an actor has held the James Bond role, surpassing Roger Moore.
  3. No Time To Die will have the longest run time at 162 minutes, beating Spectre’s 148 minutes

And – as an aside, Spectre beat out On Her Majesty’s Secret Service which was 142 minutes.

No Time To Die will release as part of a marathon in some Regal Cinemas

In that same Mike Reyes article, he mentions that Regal Cinemas is putting together an 11 ¾ hour Daniel Craig as James Bond marathon.   They will be showing Casino Royale through No Time To Die.   It will be a great, but almost a 12-hour slog, to watch the whole Daniel Craig arc of the series.

The article claims that Regal will end the marathon with an “early screening” of No Time To Die.  We don’t have the details on this or the date, but it will likely be close to October 8th.

Regal’s website talks about the Marathon and has the theater locations for the showings.  Unfortunately for us here at Spy Movie Navigator, there are no Chicago locations on the list.  They don’t have the date posted.  Their website shows this was in process for the April 10 release date and mentions the Wednesday before as the date for the marathon.  We’ll let you know when we hear more.

The No Time to Die release date is set for October 8, 2021, here in the United States. It’ll open a little earlier, on September 30, in the United Kingdom.

Happy 40th Anniversary To For Your Eyes Only

For Your Eyes Only hit its 40th Anniversary last week, on June 24th.  Unfortunately, streaming fans aren’t able to watch it as it is one of two James Bond movies not available for free streaming right now. The Man With The Golden Gun is the other.  You can pay to rent them, but they aren’t included in any current ‘free’ streaming package.

This seems to us like a missed opportunity for Eon Productions to promote an anniversary and generate some more Bond hype while we wait for No Time To Die.

Mike Reyes has a nice article on CinemaBlend.com that dives into For Your Eyes Only in more detail if you want to catch up.  For Your Eyes Only is one of our favorite Roger Moore Bond movies!

Daughter Pleas To Have Her Dying Father See No Time To Die Early 

ITV.com has a heart-tugging story about a daughter’s plea to get her terminally ill father the opportunity to see No Time To Die early.  Her father who is a huge James Bond fan and memorabilia collector has been given weeks to live due to untreatable cancer. Obviously if the movie had been released when it was first targeted, he would have seen it.

His daughter, Remy, has posted a Twitter video that has gone viral and numerous media sources have picked it up. The video shows some of her father’s memorabilia and fandom for James Bond.  It is accompanied by the song “We Have All The Time In The World” from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

She’s asking to get her father a private screening before he dies.    As Remy puts it “What I want to give for my dad is a couple of hours of respite, where he can suspend reality and lose himself in the franchise he has passionately loved and followed and immersed himself in for all of his 5 decades.”

So far, neither Universal Pictures nor Eon Productions have commented on the video.

We hope that they give him a private screening but keep it private.   Publicizing the fact that they did it would open up a can of worms with lots of requests.  However, it would be an awesome touch and tribute to a life-long Bond fan if they can make it happen.

Britt Ekland Says Goodnight To Lip Fillers

A Bond Girl from 1974’s The Man With The Golden Gun, Britt Ekland, says that she ruined her face after getting lip fillers. She had received injections of Articol around her lips.   This filler was never approved for use in the US and is now considered risky in the UK. Although she still says: “Everyone has the right to choose”.  But she called her lip fillers “the biggest mistake” of her life and that they ruined her face. She also said “It’s not going to give me more roles to make me look better.   This is who I am, and people have to accept it.  I’ve accepted it”

Spy movie fans will remember Britt Ekland in the role of Mary Goodnight in The Man With The Golden Gun and Principessa  Spada in The Conspirators.

You can read more about this here on Foxnews.com.

Next Month’s Open Championship to be played at Ian Fleming’s course

“The Open Championship”, golf’s original Major tees off on July 14, 2021.   The tournament will be played at Royal St. George’s where Ian Fleming was a member.

The golf match in Goldfinger was played at a club called St. Mark’s, although Fleming’s description of the layout matched Royal St. George’s. In the movie, the golf match was filmed at Stoke Park, near Pinewood Studios.

A couple of clues that St. Mark’s was Royal St. Georges are two character names.   The golf pro at Royal St. George’s when the movie Goldfinger was released was Albert Whiting.  The movie used Albert Blacking as the pro’s name.  James Bond’s caddie was named Hawker in the movie.  Alf Hawkes was one of the top caddies at Royal St. George’s at the time.

There’s a nice article in Issue 5, the June/July 2021 issue of Golf Digest that dives deeper into Ian Fleming, Goldfinger, and Royal St. Georges.  It is followed by a list called “A Quick Nine On The Trail Of Ian Fleming” that points out places in England you can go with ties to Fleming.

If you’re a Bond fan and a golf fan, it’s a nice read.


Austin Powers Fans, Get Ready To Binge

Netflix is adding the Austin Powers franchise on July 1.  This gives Netflix fans of this spoofing spy movie series a chance to binge through the three movies.  We welcome this as this is a fun series to binge and Netflix is giving us a way to do it.

We’re still waiting on the long-rumored fourth Austin Powers movie.  The rumor comes back every couple of years, but unfortunately, nothing yet to report on them actually doing it.

OSS 117: From Africa With Love to close Cannes (CAHN) Film Festival

And speaking of spy movie spoofs, The Hollywood Reporter tells us that the French spy spoof OSS: 117: From Africa With Love will be closing the Cannes Film Festival.

This is the third movie in the OSS Franchise.  It is expected to be released in France on August 4, 2021, Russia on August 26th, Italy on September 30, and Portugal on November 18.  We’ve seen no planned release date for the US, India, or the UK.

Regé- Jean Page Talks About The Gray Man

Regé-Jean Page talks about his upcoming movies, The Gray Man and Dungeons & Dragons.   When talking about the spy movie The Gray Man, Regé-Jean says:  “It’s just so much fun when you’re working with folks who are not just at the top of their game but reinventing the game. It’s like a whole new machine.”  They are keeping things close to the vest and not giving away much on this movie, but we can’t wait.

You can read the full article here on Variety.com

Disney Will Release Black Widow To Disney + on October 6, 2021

Disney has started accepting pre-orders for Black Widow in advance of its July 9th release date both in theaters and on Disney+ with Premier Access.  For fans who don’t want to pay for Premier Access, Disney’s website says that the movie “joins the Disney+ collection” on October 6, 2021.  So, for fans who don’t want to wait, you can go to a theater or pay for Premier Access and stream the movie online.  If you don’t mind the wait, it will be on your Disney+ subscription in October.

Scarlett Johansson Thinks She’s At A Good Point To Finish Her Role As Black Widow

In an article on Cinemablend.com, Scarlett Johansson talks about her decision to leave her role as Black Widow.  She says “In every way, and certainly, as an actor, it’s always better to leave a situation when you’re on top. And to feel good about something. It’s great. And I feel on top with this.”

The article also states that the movie Black Widow will transition from one Black Widow to the next so there will be a new actress taking on the role going forward.

As a reminder, Black Widow is due to hit theaters on July 9th. It will also be available for streaming on Disney+ with Premier Access on that date.

You can read the full article here on CinemaBlend.com.


Red Notice For Thanksgiving?

Anthony Lund on MovieWeb.com tells us that Dwayne Johnson suggested a Thanksgiving release date for Netflix’s Red Notice. Well, actually, on Instagram, Johnson said the release date announcement was coming soon and ended the post with the hashtag #holidays2021.   So our question is this: is that Thanksgiving or Christmas?

We’ve talked about this movie for a while now and it will great to finally be able to see it.  It still isn’t clear if there will be a theatrical release or just a streaming release. A $200 million tv spy movie?  Well with a strong cast headlined by Gal Gadot (Ga-DOT), Dwayne Johnson, and Ryan Reynolds this is a must-see.

So that wraps up this edition of Spy Movie News.   Join us next time to catch up on news in the spy movie industry.

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