The first round of bidding for troubled MGM are is due to end at the end of the week according to the Wall Street Journal, with around a dozen serious bidders wanting to pick up the scraps of the studio.
The bids are far below the $3.7 billion owed to MGM’s banks according to sources with bids typically in the region of $2 billion and some in the region of $1.5 billion. If the auction is unable to raise enough cash then the studio is likely to enter Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection while a buyer is found.
All this uncertainty may be having an impact on pre-production work for Bond 23, although reports from different sources are contradictory. On one hand the producers seemed to say that work was on hold until the situation was clarified, but MGM denied this and it has been confirmed by sources close to Sam Mendes that he is discussions with the producers.
Should he accept the role he is likely to be employed initially as a consultant, although it is wide believed that this is a technicality and he will direct – joining as director would trigger a payment from MGM which would make it more difficult to take Bond 23 to another studio if necessary.