Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. and the producer of the James Bond films said they acquired all rights to the fictional British secret agent held by the estate and family of the late screenwriter Kevin McClory.
The accord ends legal and business disputes that have arisen over 50 years, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the distributor of the films, and Danjaq LLC, the longtime James Bond producer, said yesterday in a statement. The terms weren’t disclosed.
McClory is credited with co-writing and producing 1965’s “Thunderball” and 1983’s “Never Say Never Again,” according to Imdb.com, an industry website. He helped develop “Thunderball” with author Ian Fleming and won a 1963 settlement that gave him an interest in that story, according to John Cork, co-author of “James Bond: The Legacy.” McClory died in 2006, Imdb.com said.
The James Bond franchise is among Hollywood’s most enduring. Twenty-four films dating back to 1963’s “Dr. No” have grossed $1.91 billion in U.S. theaters, according to BoxOfficeMojo.com, an industry researcher. The most recent, last year’s “Skyfall,” took in $304.4 million domestically.
Closely held MGM, Sony Corp. and Danjaq plan to release the next Bond film in October 2015 in the U.K and in the U.S. the following month, according to a July statement.