The latest installation in the James Bond series, No Time To Die starring Daniel Craig, has been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak. It will now be released in November as studios cope with the fluctuating movie marketplace.
No Time To Die was one of the most anticipated blockbusters of the upcoming spring movie season. It is Craig's fifth and final performance as the suave spy and also features return performances from Lea Seydoux, Naomie Harris, Ralph Fiennes, and Christoph Waltz, plus newcomers Rami Malek and Ana de Armas.
Originally slated to hit North American theaters April 10, MGM and Universal announced on the official James Bond Twitter account that fans will have to wait until the fall to see the film.
"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."A follow-up tweet confirmed the release dates as November 20 overseas and November 25 in North America.
According to CNN, the coronavirus has caused 3,000 deaths and had a serious impact on the global theater marketplace with massive theater closures in China, Korea, and Italy. China is the second-biggest movie market in the world behind the United States.
An MGM spokesperson told CNN that the company was simply evaluating the markets when they chose to delay the release.
"A huge percentage of theaters around the world are unavailable for this film," the spokesperson added, "It was really an economic decision more than anything else."
A Comscore senior media analyst, Paul Dergarabedian, described this decision to CNN as "a huge deal," and believes more movie studios might follow suit and change release dates amidst the viral outbreak.This unprecedented decision comes after an open letter titled "No Time For Indecision" (via MI6-HQ) went viral. It was penned by the founders of two popular Bond fan sites: James Page of MI6 Confidential, and David Leigh of The James Bond Dossier.
Their letter implored the studios to consider delaying the release of the upcoming Bond film as the spread of the coronavirus worsened. They argued that even if cinemas remained open, theater-goers would avoid them due to worries over the virus.
"With the Coronavirus reaching pandemic status, it is time to put public health above marketing release schedules and the cost of canceling publicity events," they wrote in the letter.
Page and Leigh urged the studios to hold off releasing the film until at least the summer - when the virus is expected "to be under control." They believe this will allow more fans to make it out to theaters and in turn, help the film financially.