The New York Times and Forbes have both reported that, with Sony Picture Entertainment’s four picture contract at an end, a bidding war has broken out with studios vying for distribution rights for that tuxedo-clad drunk, James Bond.

The five studios in the mix are Sony, Warner Bros., Universal Pictures, 20th Century Fox, and surprisingly, Annapurna, with each putting on displays and making pitches to MGM and EON productions about why they deserve the franchise.

The Bond franchise is definitely not as lucrative as any of the comic books series’ or Star Wars, and it feels more as though getting Bond is more for bragging rights and the fact, according to Forbes, that “being the studio that releases the next 007 film gives you one more guaranteed hit every two to four years.“

My money’s on Sony retaining the rights, or Warner Bros. getting them so they can place Bond snugly next to their other franchises: Fantastic Beasts, Kong/Godzilla, Lego, and, of course, the DCEU.

Chances are the next time we see Bond (Daniel Craig’s last, or a new blood’s first) will be 2019, so there’s time for a lot of schmoozing to go as studios try to catch the super spy and keep him for as long as they can.

Featured Image:  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Columbia Pictures