Apple and Amazon are each in the mix to acquire the franchise rights to James Bond, according to a new report from The Hollywood Reporter.
Sony's control over the Bond universe expired after the release of "Spectre" in 2015, opening the venerable and profitable film franchise up to a bidding sweepstakes. Along with Sony, interested parties are reported to include MGM, Universal and Fox, with Warner Bros. considered to be the top bidder of them all.
Now, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that Apple and Amazon are both willing to spend as much as any of those more traditional competitors, and perhaps significantly more. One insider cited by The Hollywood Reporter pegs the value of the Bond franchise between $2 and $5 billion.
Apple's efforts are no doubt spearheaded by their new heads of video programming, Jamie Erlcht and Zack Van Amburg. Apple snagged the highly respected Sony Pictures Television executives, signalling a strong push to start creating original movies and TV series.
While co-presidents at Sony, the duo helped pad the studio's portfolio with successful shows such as "Breaking Bad" and "Shark Tank," along with streaming series including Netflix's "The Crown" and Amazon's "Sneaky Pete."
Neither Apple nor Amazon replied to a request for comment.