While James Bond has faced international terrorists, despots and duplicitous agents, could it be that he’s found his nemesis in a global pandemic?
“MGM, Universal and James Bond producers, Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, announced today that after careful consideration and thorough evaluation of the global theatrical marketplace, the release of No Time to Die will be postponed until November 2020. The film will be released in the U.K. on November 12, 2020 with worldwide release dates to follow, including the U.S. launch on November 25, 2020,” the production company EON said in a statement to industry site Deadline.
While one should note that no mention was made there of the Coronavirus – which is causing considerable concerns as it begins to spread across the globe – there has been talk for some time that major Hollywood studios were assessing their release strategies after experts suggested concern over large gatherings in which germs and viruses might spread more easily to others in close proximity. The Coronavirus HAD been cited as the reason that No Time to Die‘s premiere and publicity tour in Beijing were cancelled.
No Time to Die, the 25th James Bond movie, was due for worldwide release in April but as recently as last week, various rumours were suggesting it might be delayed because of the disruptions in key territories. In essence, one might argue that this is less to do with specific health concerns regarding the virus (outside of China, few countries have seen official actions taken regarding restrictions thus far) but more to do with the very practical financial element of a box-office (particularly in the Asian market) that could be hit by people simply deciding that they don’t want to take the risk in an uncertain climate.
Other industry events such as MIPTV have been cancelled, some major comic conventions have had major guests cancel apperances and there even appears to be serious consideration being given to moving the Olympics to later in the year. As a result of the cinematic move, Dreamworks‘ Trolls World Tour will take that available release spot… but it is not known if the developing health situation will lead to more changes. Some rumours suggested that Disney/Marvel‘s Black Widow (currently due 1st May) and Universal‘s F9 (slated for 22nd May) might also be on the move depending on the news over the next week or so, but at this point both studios have denied plans to pre-emptively shift those titles.
One constant: Daniel Craig will still host this coming weekend’s Saturday Night Live show which was already organised and being rehearsed to fit in to the original planned Bond promotion…