I don’t know about you, but over the course of this pandemic, I feel like I’ve watched all that the internet has to offer. That is until MGM decided to pull a fast one on us and make most of the James Bond films free-to-watch on YouTube. That’s right, You can now watch 20 of the 24 Bond films for free, albeit with ads. I’d call that a steal for a franchise worth over $7 billion.
One caveat here is that none of the Daniel Craig films are available, meaning if you want to include Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall, and Spectre in your binge, you’ll have to find them elsewhere on other streaming services or just rent them from YouTube.
The move is an interesting one, considering MGM, like many other studios this year, has likely taken a considerable hit from the onset of the pandemic. The upcoming film, which will mark the end of Daniel Craig as the debonair secret agent, was originally slated for release in April 2020 but was pushed back to November as the studio sought out buyers to feature the film on streaming platforms. But with such a high price tag of reportedly $800 million, there were, unfortunately, no takers. The film is now set for theatrical release in April 2021, a full year after intended.
Apparently keeping the film delayed is costing MGM a pretty penny; about $1 million per month according to some estimates. Moving to ad-based viewing could make watching the films much more enticing for fans who are looking to fill in the time as they wait for the next movie (if they don’t already own the films), and could potentially help make up for some of the losses due to delays.
There’s no word on how long the films will be available, but there’s no better way to honor the recent passing of the first, and arguably most iconic Bond actor, Sean Connery.