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007 producers to receive honorary Oscars

by Selinda Phenyo
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James Bond

The producers of the James Bond movies will receive honorary Oscars at a ceremony this November, the Academy said Wednesday, as anticipation swells for the announcement of who will next play 007.

Half-siblings Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli have controlled the beloved espionage franchise since 1995’s “Goldeneye,” having been passed the reins by Broccoli’s father Albert.

They have overseen several of the series’ biggest-ever movies including the $1 billion-grossing “Skyfall” in 2012, in which Daniel Craig played the suave British spy with a license to kill.

The award “is a testament to their success as producers of the fan-favorite Bond series and their contribution to the industry’s theatrical landscape,” said Academy president Janet Yang in a statement.

The honor comes at a crucial time for the world’s most famous fictional spy.

The last Bond outing, 2021’s “No Time To Die,” was the final installment to star Craig, with no replacement yet announced, and Amazon has since bought 007 studio MGM.

The Broccoli family’s company Eon has immense creative control over the Bond film franchise, originally based on Ian Fleming’s novels, but has so far remained silent on the series’ future.

Wilson and Broccoli will receive their award at a ceremony in Los Angeles this November, along with other luminaries including Quincy Jones and Richard Curtis.

Trail-blazing musician, composer and producer Jones has received seven Oscar nominations previously for his work on such films as “In Cold Blood,” “The Wiz” and “The Color Purple,” without winning.

In 1967, Jones was the first Black composer to be nominated in the original song category, for the film “Banning.”

“Quincy Jones’s artistic genius and relentless creativity have made him one of the most influential musical figures of all time,” said Yang.

British writer and director Curtis, 67, created “Notting Hill,” “Bridget Jones’s Diary,” “Love Actually” and “Four Weddings and a Funeral.”

The latter earned him his only previous Oscar nomination, for best screenplay.

As co-founder of Comic Relief, which raises money for charity, he will receive the Jean Hersholt statuette, which is specifically for humanitarian work by a film industry figure.

The honorary Oscars are handed out every year at the Governors Awards, hosted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which each year honors industry veterans, many of whom are felt to have not received their dues at the regular Oscars.

The Governors Awards were spun off into a separate event in 2009 to declutter the main show’s packed schedule.

Last year’s honorees included comedy icon Mel Brooks and actress Angela Bassett. They received their statuettes at a delayed ceremony in January, due to the Hollywood strikes.

This year, a fifth honorary Oscar will go to Juliet Taylor, the acclaimed casting director behind “Taxi Driver,” “Annie Hall,” “Sleepless in Seattle” and “Schindler’s List.”

The 15th Governors Awards take place on November 17.

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Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli have overseen several of the biggest ever James Bond movies, casting Daniel Craig to play the suave British spy with a licence to kill (VALERIE MACON)Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli have overseen several of the biggest ever James Bond movies, casting Daniel Craig to play the suave British spy with a licence to kill (VALERIE MACON)

AFP


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