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Sony co-chairman Amy Pascal has by now almost certainly picked out the Bond-themed outfit she'll be wearing to Casino Royale's premiere, but ushering her first 007 installment into theaters has been a long road, and one that required her to relinquish the iron-fisted authoritarian control one would expect of a maverick studio head overseeing a $250 million project. The LAT takes a look at the business arrangement that led to Sony getting the keys to the tricked-out Aston Martin for the first time, but finding themselves having to immediately cede the wheel to the franchise's creative custodians, Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson:

Broccoli singled out Pascal for praise. "She's not the typical studio executive," Broccoli said. "She had very strong views, but she would listen and come back and say, 'You're right.' "

Sony had little choice.

Broccoli and Wilson enjoy one of the most unique, hands-off studio arrangements in Hollywood and are highly protective of the Bond family legacy.

"They agree on the budget, the major casting and the script and we make the picture," Wilson said. "It's our film."

It's a testament to the bankability of the franchise—and Pascal's hands-on yet compliant business style—that the keepers of the Bond brand can enjoy an almost unheard of autonomy on such a massively budgeted production, right down to final wardrobe approval on which nut-hugging mankini best showed off star Daniel Craig's "absolute monster."