The two tech giants are reportedly bidding for distribution rights for the James Bond movie franchise, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Sony previously had a distribution deal for the popular movie series based on the dapper British spy created by author Ian Fleming and famously played by the likes of Sean Connery and Roger Moore over the course of 26 films. But Sony’s contract expired following the release of 2015’s Spectre, which pulled in $880 million at the global box office.
With actor Daniel Craig returning to portray Bond at least one more time in 2019 (after previously dismissing the idea stepping into the role for a fifth film), movie studios are lining up for a chance to land distribution rights for future spy thrillers featuring the British secret agent with a “License to Kill.” Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) and Eon Productions own the rights to the James Bond franchise, but the studios no longer distribute the films, having previously licensed distribution rights to Sony for the last four films, going back to 2006’s Casino Royale.
Sony is among the bidders this time around, as well, joining several major movie houses such as Time Warner’s Warner Bros., Comcast’s Universal Pictures, and 20th Century Fox. But anonymous sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that both Apple and Amazon have also thrown their hats into the bidding for distribution rights for a franchise that the publication says is worth $2 billion to $5 billion.
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It would be fairly notable if either of the tech giants can cut a deal with MGM/Eon for distribution rights to such an iconic movie franchise. Amazon has ramped up its feature film business in recent years as part of its reported $4.5 billion budget for original TV and film productions, with Amazon even winning its first Academy Awards earlier this year for the movie Manchester by the Sea. And, Apple is reportedly set to spend $1 billion of its own on original video programming next year as the world’s most valuable company dives into the increasingly competitive world of digital entertainment.
Amazon already has plenty of experience producing and marketing its original movies like a traditional studio (and the company is moving into self-distribution, as well), but a deal for the James Bond distribution rights could certainly be appealing to the company’s millions of Prime subscribers once it makes those movies available for streaming. It’s too soon to know if Apple would still plan to release any original films in theaters, as the company’s initial attempts at original programming have included the streaming-only TV series Carpool Karaoke and Planet of the Apps.
There’s no doubt that both Apple and Amazon should have enough money to compete with traditional Hollywood studios for movie rights, but The Hollywood Reporter notes that the James Bond bidding war could take an interesting twist if the two tech players are angling for more than just distribution rights. After all, either Apple or Amazon could potentially blow MGM/Eon out of the water with a huge offer for full franchise rights that would allow them to spread the British spy character’s lucrative intellectual property in various formats, from film to potential TV series spin-offs, similar to Walt Disney’s expansion of the Star Wars universe after its acquisition of Lucasfilm in 2012.
Fortune contacted Apple and Amazon for comment, and we will update this article with any response.