There’s a bunch of legal backstory involved but basically: one company now has all the rights to all the James Bond IP, which means we might see Blofeld again. Seriously.
Here’s the press release via HMSS
Los Angeles, CA (November 15, 2013) – Danjaq, LLC, the producer of the James Bond films, and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), the longtime distributor of the Bond films, along with the estate and family of the late Kevin McClory, announced today that Danjaq and MGM have acquired all of the estate’s and family’s rights and interests relating to James Bond, thus bringing to an amicable conclusion the legal and business disputes that have arisen periodically for over 50 years.
So here’s the thing: when writing Thunderball, originally a screenplay, Ian Fleming worked with a guy called Kevin McClory. McClory actually created both Blofeld and SPECTRE, the persistent villain and his organization of the Bond universe. Thunderball eventually turned into a novel when the movie didn’t pan out and Fleming didn’t give McClory any credit at first. The novels became popular, the movies even more so, and McClory sued and won.
This is how we ended up with Never Say Never Again, basically a remake of Thunderball, in the 80s. Thunderball, and the characters and story therein, ended up being co-owned by EON Productions and McClory and while EON couldn’t use Bloefeld or Spectre again without McClory’s OK, McClory himself could do what he wanted with them. Hence Never Say Never Again and why in the opening to For Your Eyes Only the bad guy in a wheelchair with a cat doesn’t have a name.
Anyway, McClory passed away a few years ago and the company that now owns the rights to Bond has worked out a deal with his estate so that everything is now back under one roof. This means that in the future we could see James Bond facing off against his nemesis for the first time in over 30 years.
The question is how? Obviously they could just go all in with SPECTRE in a future film but they’ve already established Quantum as the bad guy group in the new films (curiously missing from Skyfall). Maybe Quantum evolved from SPECTRE. Maybe Blofeld will just have founded Quantum. Maybe Daniel Craig will dismantle Quantum over the next two films and the next Bond will deal with SPECTRE.
Either way, looks like a villain with a persian cat is in our future.