Amazon Looking to Revive Such Classic MGM Titles as ‘Robocop,’ ‘Stargate’ and ‘Legally Blonde’

Amazon Looking to Revive Such Classic MGM Titles as ‘Robocop,’ ‘Stargate’ and ‘Legally Blonde’

Amazon Studios is sifting through MGM’s extensive 100-year library to identity the material it would like to revive as new film and television projects. Since the producer/distributor acquired the historic Hollywood studio for $8.5 billion in March 2022, Amazon has chosen the initial titles from MGM’s library for film and/or television development, Deadline is reporting.

Amazon has already chosen about a dozen projects from MGM’s library. Those initial titles include Robocop, Stargate, Legally Blonde, Fame, Barbershop, The Magnificent Seven, Pink Panther and The Thomas Crown Affair.

Multiple A-list creatives have already contacted Amazon Studios to express their interest in adapting MGM IP that they’re fans of. Amazon has is considering working with its own roster of talent for some projects.

Each title is being approached differently by the company; some project are being developed as movies, while others are being considered as television series. Several big name projects are being created as films and television shows.

For instance, Amazon Studios is currently in active early conversation on Legally Blonde. The company is considering adapting the Golden Globe-nominated franchise, which includes two theatrically released movies starring Reese Witherspoon in her breakout role, for a new feature and a potential television series.

There have already been efforts to make a second sequel starring the Oscar-winning actress reprising her iconic role of lawyer Elle Woods. Legally Blonde 3, which was co-written by Mindy Kaling and Dan Goor, has been stalled in moving past the pre-production stage for the past five years

Amazon is also considering similar plans for the military sci-fi franchise, Stargate. The studio is working on creating a film and television show, with the features likely going into production first.

The Stargate series, which spans across movie and television, launched in 1994 with a film directed by Roland Emmerich. It was followed by two more movies, Stargate: The Ark of Truth and Stargate: Continuum, which were both released in 2008.

On TV, Stargate SG-1 was one of the longest-running sci-fi shows in U.S. television history. It was followed by Stargate Atlantis in 2004 and Stargate Universe in 2009, animated series Stargate Infinity in 2002 and web series Stargate Origins in 2018.

There are also discussions about adapting the sci-fi-action-superhero franchise Robocop into both a film and television show. The series is being considered to initially be placed into development.

The franchise’s last live-action movie, which was released in theaters in 2014, was directed by José Padilha and stars Joel Kinnaman as the titular character. It’s a remake of the 1987 film of the same name, and the fourth installment in the RoboCop movie franchise.

Additionally, Amazon Studios is actively developing television shows based on Fame, Barbershop and The Magnificent Seven.

Amazon is also discussing making another Thomas Crown Affair film and another Pink Panther movie, which may be animated. A Poltergeist project may also be developed in the future.

Plans for further developing the Creed universe across more films and a television show is also being considered. Amazon Studios has been discussing the prospect with franchise star and filmmaker, Michael B. Jordan. The studio also just made a first-look deal with Sylvester Stallone and his Balboa Productions for movie and television projects. The collaboration may expand the Rocky brand into television.

Despite the aforementioned plans, identifying and developing MGM IP has been a slow process so far. That has partially been by design, as the new owners want to be thoughtful about the process, considering the legacy of the titles that are involved.

But the slow progress has also been by necessity, given the complexity  of the underlying rights of some of the projects, including Rocky, which been taking months to settle.

Throughout its history, MGM has had multiple owners as well as financing partners for many of its most well-known movies. The duty of sorting through the complexity of rights – including who owns what projects and who else was originally involved – is being handled by Cynthia Waldman.

In her fourth stint at MGM, Waldman serves as the Head of Library Rights. One of her duties is helping determine what classic MGM films can be rebooted and remade as new films, television series or both.

Check out more of Karen Benardello’s articles.

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