Secret agent James Bond will be remaining in hiding for a bit longer. With the spread of the Coronavirus outbreak around the world, MGM and Eon have announced that the next Bond film No Time To Die is being delayed from its April release date to November, according to the film’s producers. The film will now open November 12 in the United Kingdom, followed by the United States on November 25.
Set to be Daniel Craig’s final appearance as Bond, No Time To Die from director Cary Fukunaga is a major project for MGM and the Bond franchise. The film was planning to have an extensive international rollout and press tour, but with the Coronavirus spreading in numerous countries where the film is being released, the producers opted to delay.
The production companies behind the film released this statement about the delay: “MGM, Universal and 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 new Bond film picks up the story with Bond out of active service from being a double-00 agent and living in Jamaica, leaving another agent (Lashana Lynch) to take on his 007 status. Bond is thrust back into action when his loyal friend, CIA agent Felix Leiter (Jeffery Wright), asks him for help to rescue a kidnapped scientist. The new mission puts Bond on track to face off against a mysterious villain named Safin (Rami Malek), who is developing a dangerous new technology that could threaten the world.
Here’s the Super Bowl trailer for the film:
While the health of moviegoers appears to be a major concern, so is the box office performance of the franchise. The major Bond fan site MI6-HQ recently wrote an open letter asking the producers to delay the film and “put public health above marketing release schedules.” The site also cited past box office performances of Bond films as a reason to delay, as many countries where Bond films do well commercially have restricted public gatherings and theater access, including “China, Italy, France, Switzerland, Japan, Hong Kong and South Korea,” which “contributed some 38 percent of the total global earnings for the last Bond movie, 2015’s Spectre.”
This isn’t the first time No Time To Die has been delayed. The film originally was set for release in November 2019 with director Danny Boyle behind the camera, but after he left over creative differences, Fukunaga was brought in and the film was pushed into February 2020. After then pushing to the early April 2020 date, the film now will open in November.