Lucrative rights to the James Bond franchise are set to go up for grabs, with the November 6 release of Spectre marking the end of the multi-picture deal between MGM and Sony. The pact has been a hugely successful one, spawning Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace and Skyfall with Daniel Craig as 007.

SpectreDaniel Craig stars in MGM and Sony's final Bond movie, Spectre

According to the Variety, MGM chief Gary Barber's strong relationship with Warner Bros CEO Kevin Tsujihara could result in Bond switching to the Burbank studio. The studios have in the past partnered on numerous projects including The Hobbit trilogy and upcoming Rocky Balboa spin-off Creed.

In a new interview, Sony Pictures boss Tom Rothman acknowledged that the fight for the Bond rights would be intense.

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"The reality is that Sony's had a fantastic run with the Bonds," said Rothman, adding, "Sure we're going to compete for (the rights), but let's be honest, so is everybody in the business."

"I hear Variety is putting in a bid," he joked.

Still, Rothman made sure to talk up Spectre - the second Bond collaboration between Sony and Sam Mendes following the monumental success of Skyfall.

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"This Bond is going to be great and.hopefully we'll do as good a job as we did on the last one."

News on the rights throws into doubt Daniel Craig's future in the franchise - the British star has committed to two further films, though it could be that a new studio would want to start fresh with a new 007. Idris Elba, Tom Hardy and Henry Cavill are all rumored to be interested in the job.