Bond Series: James Bond Franchise Up for Grabs?

The James Bond series may seek another Hollywood studio after years at Sony Pictures.

The November 6 release of Spectre marks the end of a multi-picture pact between MGM and Sony that has encompassed “Casino Royale,” “Quantum of Solace” and “Skyfall,” the highest-grossing 007 film in the franchise history.

Variety reports that the close relationship between MGM chief Gary Barber and Warner CEO Kevin Tsujihara could result in the super-spy shifting to the Burbank studio. MGM and Warner have partnered on several films, including the “Hobbit” trilogy, “Hot Pursuit,” and the upcoming Rocky Balboa spin-off, Creed.

In an exclusive sit-down interview, Sony Pictures motion picture group chair Tom Rothman acknowledged that the fight for the Bond rights will be fierce.

“Sony’s had a fantastic run with the Bonds,” said Rothman, adding, “Sure we’re going to compete for the rights, but let’s be honest, so is everybody in the business.”

Sony extended its contract to co-finance and distribute “Spectre” and “Skyfall” in 2011, throwing in the right for MGM to invest on Sony’s remake of “Total Recall,” “21 Jump Street,” and “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.”

James Bond made an appearance in the hack attack on Sony with the release of company emails and documents. An early script for “Spectre” was among the items that made their way to the Internet.

“This Bond is going to be great and hopefully we’ll do as good a job as we did on the last one,” said Rothman, noting that with a global gross of more than $1 billion, “Skyfall’s” box office haul was “by far and away the highest that any Bond had ever done.”