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MGM is killing me.

I know that these are tough financial times.  I know that movie ticket sales are slumping.  I know the studio is currently having some severe money troubles.  I’m not sure I accept those things as an excuse.

Why am I so upset?  What is it that MGM, and their iconic roaring lion, have done that has brought me to this point?

They killed James Bond.

Well, I guess “killed” is a bit of an overstatement, but he is definitely on life support in the ICU.  The studio has made it very clear that it will be quite a while before we see 007 grace the silver screen again.  And that’s if one takes a rosy outlook on things.

The last time this happened was when Timothy Dalton almost single-handedly destroyed the franchise back in the 90’s.  It took almost six years for Pierce Brosnan to step into the role and give us the legendary “GoldenEye.”  Of course, he followed this with two lackluster films before departing on the high note of “Die Another Day.”

The most maddening part of this is that MGM had finally made what appeared to be a rock-solid decision.  They totally relaunched the series, starting from the very beginning with “Casino Royale” and Daniel Craig as an edgier Bond more akin to the super spy from Fleming’s novels.  The follow up, “Quantum of Solace,” was even setting up the possibility of a fully modernized and believable recreation, at least in spirit, of Blofeld’s old SPECTRE oraganization from the Connery days.

But, just as they were hitting stride, it may be all over.

Daniel Craig has reportedly signed on with the “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” franchise.  MGM continues to flounder in a sea of debt, and no one seems interested in buying the studio despite the fact that they out themselves on the block in November.

It seems we are destined to see another franchise fall.  Do we really expect Mr. Bond to come out of this one alive?

To quote Goldfinger: “No, Mr. Bond.  I expect you to die.”

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