Does Amazon even know what it will buy with the MGM acquisition?


When Amazon announced plans to buy MGM in May, the focus of the discussion was on what Amazon was going to do with the studio’s intellectual property. Spin-off and restart were one option the company mentioned at the time. Who, now, is worth thinking about, herding Amazon’s creative vision of an old filmmaker?

A new profile was released this week New York times The creative brain trust behind the MGM brand offers a few tips on how the acquisition can look forward. Namely, it profiles Michael De Lucan and Pamela Abdy, two of MGM’s top experts who have been tasked with revitalizing the MGM brand. The key to their strategy, as De Luca described it Times, “treats filmmakers like a franchise.” Both seem to appreciate high-caliber theatrical releases directly for streaming content.

But their approach to pumping blood back into MGM’s declining legacy seems to be in line with Amazon’s own view of the studio. Mike Hopkins, CEO of Prime Video and Amazon Studios, said in a statement at the time of the announcement that “the economic value behind the transaction is an IP treasure in a deep list we intend to imagine and develop with MGM’s talented team. It is very exciting and offers so many opportunities. high-quality storytelling. “

The MGM library may offer some opportunities for franchise spinoffs, especially in the future Bond movies and possibly IP type Legally blondeand Rocky. (Although it should be noted that MGM does not directly own Bond IP, which may have avoided Amazon’s leaders hoping to twist the franchise agreement dry.) Yet its strength has always seemed to be more in terms of brand and capabilities. Amazon’s desire to own an IP feels like it would run counter to this reality, and De Luca and Abdy seem to be particularly aware of it.

“Mike and I didn’t sit back and say we’re robbing the library and doing it all over again,” Abdy said. Times a couple of creative roadmaps. “We focus on original ideas with original authors and real filmmakers, but you know something fun every now and then and we’ll continue to do it if we think it makes sense.”

The details of this deal immediately evoke in the mind Acquisition of Time Warner, which included the HBO transport of award-winning films and series, AT&T, which has since decided that perhaps this entire stream was not in motion after all – even despite with a valuable IP feature like DC and award winning content like The throne game, Yarn, Curb your enthusiasm, and countless other hits. CEO John Stankey said in May at the time, the Discovery and WarnerMedia merger was announced that it was “time to release the media assets” it had accumulated and spun into HBO Max – but not before being told mass migration of business leaders, the most prominent HBO boss Richard Plepler, who had been with the company for almost three decades and helped HBO collect numerous awards. He is now producing content for Apple TV Plus.

Any division among the company’s executives as to how the MGM and Amazon merger should appear to be progressing is its own carpet journey. The deal also still requires government approval, and that is known to be the case will be reviewed a federal trade commission led by one Amazon the biggest competition board critics, Lina Khan. The merger has also won several legislators, including Senator Elizabeth Warren, who recently letter to Khan the acquisition “may harm consumers and workers and reduce innovation by preventing competition in a number of markets”.

If the deal secures government approval and proceeds unharmed, Amazon could face new challenges by leveraging rich inspections of old franchise libraries. Unlike AT&T, it is almost forced to find a common position with the current creative executives of the studio it is trying to buy, at least on MGM’s most valuable IP address.

Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, acting as Agents, maintain creative management of Bond franchise, said Times in their statement that their “hope is that [Amazon] allows Mike and Pam to continue driving the MGM unstressed. “The couple also told the Times that they had an Amazon word that Bond movie premieres continue in theaters, which means the company would not be able to switch to movies that premiered exclusively on the streaming service Prime Video, making store logistics even more confusing.

We haven’t yet seen how Amazon’s MGM content goals are repeated and how the studio’s IP can shape the company’s Prime Video streaming service in the future. But its announced plan to “imagine and develop” titles may prove more challenging than it had originally anticipated.

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