After almost 100 years, MGM’s iconic roaring lion mascot has been replaced by an all-CGI version.
More than half a dozen real live lions have been used over the years to portray the mascot, but now it has been replaced by a near-identical computer-generated duplicate.
MGM had planned to debut its new CG version of Leo the lion in the latest James Bond film, but when No Time To Die was delayed from 2019 to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, so was the unveiling of the mascot.
Instead, the studio debuted the new version of the logo on YouTube on Monday (March 8) in a sizzle reel that showed the evolution of the brand through the years. You can watch it below.
There have been eight different lions used since 1924, and each one was used in multiple iterations of the MGM logo.
The very first lion didn’t roar, while some lions would be replaced after the first roar by characters such as Tom, from Tom And Jerry, or a Marx Brother. For a brief moment in the 1960s, MGM got rid of the roaring lion altogether, replacing him with a stylized lion graphic.
The revamped logo is almost identical to the version MGM has been using for the past 64 years. The most noticeable change is the trademark’s intro animation, which now displays the original logo’s slogan in English before slowly zooming out and reverting to the original Latin: “Art For Art’s Sake.”
A recent report by The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that the delay of No Time To Die is costing MGM Studios around $1million in interest per month on the money it borrowed to make it, which it won’t be able to recoup until the movie opens in cinemas.
“MGM is suffering. Every major distributor at this point has a pile of unreleased expensive movies. The pile grows larger by the day,” Hal Vogel, CEO of Vogel Capital Research said.
“These films are inventory. They are sitting there with no return on their investment. Even with low interest rates, the interest costs are piling up.”
The report also claimed that Apple offered to licence the film for 12 months from MGM for somewhere in the region of $350 million to $400 million, which was reportedly far short of the $650 million to $700 million – one source told THR that even $800 million was mentioned – that MGM was hoping to get to make such a deal worthwhile.