A James Bond spin-off show has been announced by Amazon Studios – but 007 fans can rest easy as it won't be an official entry in the legendary spy's cinematic franchise.
Per multiple outlets including Variety (opens in new tab) and Deadline (opens in new tab), 007's Road to a Million – a James Bond-inspired, around the world-style show – has been greenlit for Amazon's streaming platform. The eight-part competition series is the first James Bond property that Amazon will create following its $8.5 billion acquisition of MGM, i.e. the studio behind the fictional character's long-running film franchise.
007's Road to a Million will see contestants compete in a globetrotting adventure – we don't expect many of Bond's cars to feature, though – to land a £1 million ($1.3 million USD) prize. The Prime Video show will reportedly be filmed in a number of iconic locations from James Bond's movie series, with various challenges set to test the resolve, intelligence, and endurance of would-be competitors.
According to Deadline, potential contestants will have to team up with another person to take part. At this point, though, it's not clear if the £1 million prize pool will be shared between the winning two-person team, or whether each contestant will each receive the seven-figure sum. Upon completing challenges, each duo will have to answer questions hidden in certain locations in order to progress to the competition's next stage. Production is slated to begin later this year, although there's no word on which famous Bond locations will be used.
Additionally, Variety reports that the show has been in active development since 2018. Sources close to the project have suggested that the TV show was formulated long before Amazon acquired MGM, which will sit independent of any other upcoming James Bond Prime Video productions.
Long-time Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson will help to co-develop the series alongside MGM Television. No release date has been revealed yet, but those wishing to apply for 007's Road to a Million can do so by filling out this form (opens in new tab).
Analysis: a view to a monetary thrill?
While James Bond fans can rest in the knowledge that he won't be making the leap to the small screen just yet, 007's Road to a Million does present some intriguing questions.
For starters, is this the direction that Amazon Studios is looking to take the iconic spy's franchise? Sure, it's a TV series that's sure to provide some form of entertainment for Prime Video viewers, but we're not sure if it's the kind of content that'll make would-be subscribers sign up for the streaming service.
Okay, a spin-off like this means that the character of James Bond will continue to appear on the big screen – for the time being, at least – but why use his name and numeric alias as the backdrop to the show? Would something like this not work just as well without the ties to the Bond franchise? There are similar 'around the world' race-style shows on Prime Video already, including World's Toughest Race and Race Across the World. They've done just fine without a property like James Bond behind them, so what's the need for a game show such as this?
James Bond fans were already hesitant about the prospect of spin-off films and TV shows. In our opinion, though, we suspect that many of that number – ourselves included – would prefer to see projects set in the character's fictional universe, rather than a spin-off like 007's Road to a Million.
Still, there's plenty for Bond fans to look forward to outside of 007's Road to a Million. The search is on for a new actor to step in Bond's shoes after Daniel Craig ended his 15-year stint with 2021's No Time to Die. If you're interested, check out our definitive ranking of Craig's Bond movies, too. Alternatively, read up on who we consider to be the best Bond of all-time.