Much online e-ink has been e-spilled over the question of which actor will take up the mantle of international superspy James Bond for the 25th installment of the perennial franchise. Will incumbent star Daniel Craig return for another go-round as 007, or will he be replaced by the likes of new challengers Tom Hiddleston, Dan Stevens, Emily Blunt, or Idris Elba? Who knows (not us), but as the mission to secure a star has been playing out, another big change-up has unfolded largely in the background.
The New York Times ran an illuminating item today about the recent scramble among studios to secure the creative rights to the James Bond property and the handsome paydays that go with it. Sony fronted the last four Bond flicks, steering the franchise into its commercially and critically fruitful Craig era, but their rights to Ian Fleming’s creation expired after 2015’s Spectre. Now,