No Time to Die — the next James Bond movie — is set to be delayed again. Two different reports claim that Daniel Craig’s final turn as 007 will not arrive in early April as scheduled and will see its release date pushed back to November, potentially, or sometime in the autumn season. Naturally, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is to blame. The UK, Bond’s home market, is currently in the grips of a third nationwide lockdown, while 65 percent of theatres are closed in the US, the highest-grossing single market for Hollywood movies.
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Dutch publication BN DeStem first brought word of another release date delay for No Time to Die, with exhibitor Carlo Lambregts noting that the Bond film will jump from April to November. Deadline later added to the conversation, with the movie’s promotional partners telling the American publication that No Time to Die seems set to be shipped off to late 2021 autumn period. Neither MGM (the film’s US distributor) nor Universal Pictures (all international markets) had any comment, per Deadline.
This seems very likely to happen, given Sony Pictures moved its Jared Leto Marvel superhero film Morbius from March to October earlier this week. No Time to Die is only a couple of weeks after (April 2). It will be the third delay for No Time to Die, that was originally slated to release April 2, 2020 in cinemas worldwide. But as COVID-19 swept through the world, MGM and Universal Pictures were one of the first to move the next Bond film, pushing it to November 2020. But the coronavirus hadn’t gone anywhere by November, and the studios ended up delaying it to April 2, 2021.
Interestingly, MGM had considered selling No Time to Die to streaming services, but the likes of Netflix and Apple TV+ balked at the $600 million (roughly Rs. 4,390 crores) price tag. James Bond is a revenue cornerstone for MGM which, back in December, reportedly put itself up for sale at a $5 billion (roughly Rs. 36,580 crores) valuation. The most recent entry, Spectre, grossed $880.7 million (roughly Rs. 6,440 crores) at the global box office, and its predecessor, Skyfall, is the highest-grossing Bond film of all time at $1.1 billion (roughly Rs. 8,050 crores).