For James Bond fans, there’s already been a long wait for the next film in the beloved spy series: almost five years have passed since Daniel Craig’s last outing as 007 in 2015’s Spectre and it seems the follow up has suffered more misfortune than any in Bond history.
No Time to Die, the 25th film in the long-running spy franchise and set to be Craig’s final appearance in the iconic role, had already been hit by production delays long before the coronavirus pandemic began, and the virus then pushed the film’s premiere back even further.
Pre-COVID, the film had been expected to hit cinemas in April of this year, before it was originally moved to November as the scale of the pandemic started to become clear.
That news was frustrating for Bond fans, but it was apparent almost immediately that it was a necessary decision amidst the ongoing threat posed by the virus – and still, when they’d already waited a few years what difference was an extra few months going to make?
Well, unfortunately for 007 enthusiasts there are now suggestions the film will be delayed even further, with some sources indicating we could have to wait until mid-2021 before being reacquainted with the nation’s favourite double agent.
According to reports, including one from specialist Bond website MI6 HQ, a release date during summer next year is now being “actively considered” by MGM and Universal, as the global cinema industry struggles to become fully operational – especially in countries such as the United States where the virus continues to rapidly spread.
As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, Disney analyst Doug Creutz has claimed that he expects American cinemas to be largely closed until mid-2021 – and so even if the situation is looking slightly rosier here in the UK, where most of the big chains have started to reopen with new restrictions and safety measures in place, it appears as if the cinema industry as a whole will continue to suffer.
The MI6 HQ report further states that an official decision on another delay is likely to be made imminently, given that if the November date were to be kept the promotion cycle would be set to begin in earnest in the very near future and it is unlikely the studio would wish to waste even more of it’s budget (a reported $30m was lost on marketing after the original delay).
Unsurprisingly, producers are said to be dead set on an eventual cinema release – with the VOD option that has been taken up by some other movies not being considered – and so given the state of the global landscape it seems all but a certainty that the delay will be announced shortly.
So expect more official news in the coming days and weeks – and unfortunately it’s probably best you prepare for the worst: with the global situation not expected to sufficiently improve before the slated November release, it seems highly unlikely producers would go ahead with that date given the significant negative impact on box office returns and profits, which are of course the ultimate driving forces behind the delays.
In the meantime, at least there’s 24 other Bond adventures to catch up on and revisit – and you can also take part in our ongoing poll to crown the best James Bond of all time.
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