One of saddest and most frustrating stories in Hollywood right now is the floundering of MGM. That the fate of more than one massive franchise is wrapped up in the bullshit of it all has made their struggles more of a public situation than this kind of inside baseball typically would be. For months now MGM has been trying to restructure its debt and avoid bankruptcy before more recently accepting the inevitable and setting themselves up to be sold outright as a bankrupt outfit. Sadly, no one around town has been biting, and it’s becoming increasingly likely that MGM will be streamlined and relegated solely to production, rather than continuing to be a full studio.

The Finke, over at Deadline, has rustled up the info that MGM’s most prominent suitor, Summit Entertainment (who’s got dat Twilight money for days, kid) has decided there are other, less complicated acquisitions to be made. Finke’s sources say the deal was too much of “a distraction for the business.”

Now MGM’s most likely fate is to be swallowed up by Spyglass Entertainment, who could slash away much of the studios debt before reforming it is a production-only company. Spyglass could then further profit from MGM productions by selling off distribution and exhibition rights. MGM has held on to Bond and Hobbit rights for dear life, refusing to sell them to interested parties like Warner Brothers. If they do manage to live again with another company pulling the puppet strings, then that decision may prove a wise one. Unfortunately for the movie-going public, it’s increasingly likely that will come at the cost of these films being made anytime soon (and in many cases, after the cast/creative teams that make them special have moved on).

It will be a big day when MGM’s fate is determined, so expect to hear the corks pop while the bodies drop whenever it happens.

(Image from here.)

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