While a number of revelations were made about Sony Pictures, films projects, talent and studio executives following the Sony hack last year, Wikileaks’ decision to host the hacked emails means the media is once again able to go through the metaphorical trash digging for dirt.
Yesterday the Mirror published an story, which has been widely repeated, that Daniel Craig was paid $5 million (£3.3 million is given by the Mirror article, around the $5 million reported elsewhere) for holding a Sony Xperia phone in Skyfall and that Samsung tried to muscle in on SPECTRE by making an offer said to amount to”tens of millions” for 007 to use one of their phones instead.
The Mirror said Barbara Broccoli asked Sony to pay an “additional placement fee” for including a Sony Xperia phone instead, with Sony marketing boss George Leon suggesting to Amy Pascal (then Sony Pictures boss) they pay a fee direct to Broccoli (or more likely Eon Productions) and cut out Daniel Craig and instead put the phone in the hands of Q.
If this is true it seems remarkable that Craig should be paid a fee directly, rather than the full amount going towards production of the movie.
While product placement deals can be contentious with fans and sometimes clumsy (Vesper: “Rolex?” Bond: “Omega”) it is unsurprising given the huge budgets of modern films. SPECTRE is said to have a budget as high as $300 million but I had never imagined the actors got a cut from the deals.