The Hollywood Reporter says that Lucknow, India based Sahara India Pariwar, may be ready to bid for Leo, the Lion and his MGM Entertainment. The Wall Street Journal reports that the bid for the studios that owns the James Bond franchise, (and precious little else) may be as high as $2 billion.
Bloomberg News reported that the Broccoli family, producers of the James Bond movies and co-owners of the franchise with MGM are involved and that Barbara Broccoli and her stepbrother Michael G. Wilson would receive an undisclosed equity stake in MGM if the Sahara deal goes through,
This would be a crazy decision for Sahara, led by Subrata Roy, in my view. MGM has been bought and sold too many times for any Hollywood-watcher to believe there is anything left but debt. Billionaire Kirk Kirkorian milked so much value out of the company when he bought and sold it three (or was it four, I lost count!) times.
When Anil Ambani agreed to invest in Dreamworks and take it private, in collobarations with Steven Spielberg, I praised the decision here and in the Los Angeles Times as well as in the Hollywood REporter. Spielberg has a future. But the future of James Bond is more than overshadowed by the $4 billion debt accumulated at MGM. They need a sucker not an investor. I hope they find one outside of India.
Else it may be time to let Leo the Lion become a Hollywood memory forever. The musical format of Bollywood movies was hugely influenced by the grand epics produced on the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer lot in Culver City in the 1940s and 1950s. So in a sense Leo already survives in Mumbai and the ghost of Sam Goldwyn must be smiling to watch the story unfold.