Amazon-MGM Town Hall Scheduled For Friday; Mike Hopkins Presages Upcoming Mesh

EXCLUSIVE: We hear that Amazon Studios and Prime Video SVP Mike Hopkins sent a warm, welcoming email to MGM staffers this morning about the streamer’s acquisition of the near-century old studio, telling them that “we look forward to working with you as we create the next phase of MGM’s rich history together.”

While there’s always concerns of employee and divisions overlap in a merger like this, this one an $8.5 billion deal, Hopkins emphasized in his note that Amazon will continue to partner with United Artists Releasing which is the MGM joint marketing and distribution venture, and that “all MGM employees will join my organization.”

At this point in time, there’s a town hall scheduled for tomorrow morning, we understand, in which Amazon execs will outlay what’s next.

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“Of course, we don’t have all the answers today, but now that the deal has closed and we are able to shift from planning to working together, we’ll be collaborating with MGM leaders on the opportunities ahead in the coming weeks,” reads Hopkins’ email.  The exec complimented the work ethic and success of MGM’s staff, and indicated that there will be events in the near future celebrating this new phase of MGM. At this moment, there’s some hope, we understand, that Amazon will allow MGM to operate autonomously, unlike the Disney-20th Century Studios merger, however, it’s still very early in this marriage.

MGM of late has become a destination for filmmakers like Ridley Scott, Paul Thomas Anderson, Joe Wright and Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson who continue to want their works on the big screen. Amazon in recent years has switched up to a distribution approach like Netflix’s with a limited theatrical release with their fare either preceding or day-and-date with a movie’s drop on Prime Video.  Bond producer Broccoli has made it clear several times that future 007 movies will be made for the big screen, and there’s no interest in exploiting the franchise across any other characters outside of the British agent. We’ve heard that Amazon isn’t intending to make any changes to the Bond franchise.

As of this moment, Amazon isn’t impacting MGM’s production slate or theatrical release schedule for projects currently underway. The streamer isn’t planning to make all MGM content exclusive to Prime Video. Amazon is expected to support theatrical releases on a case-by-case basis.

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