As relayed by Variety on Friday, the release of the 25th and most recent installment of MGM/Eon Production's James Bond film franchise has been postponed once again. After having previously been rescheduled from an April, 2020 theatrical release to a November premiere in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the feature is now slated to debut in the spring of 2021.
"MGM, Universal and Bond producers, Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, today announced the release of 'No Time To Die,' the 25th film in the James Bond series, will be delayed until 2 April in order to be seen by a worldwide theatrical audience," the filmmakers announced in a statement. "We understand the delay will be disappointing to our fans but we now look forward to sharing 'No Time To Die' next year."
Per Variety's Rebecca Rubin, the highly anticipated spy thriller had a production budget in excess of $200 million and cost millions more to promote. The studio reportedly lost millions more as a result of the movie's earlier postponement. Consequently, producers made the decision to delay its release once again in favor of a future date when moviegoers might feel safer returning to theaters as a means to boost the project's chances of turning a profit.
Nevertheless, Rubin characterized the latest postponement as "another major blow" to theaters that are currently trying to lure audiences in spite of the ongoing pandemic. Pixar's Soul is the next blockbuster feature slated for theatrical release, with a tentative premiere date of November 20. However, Disney may elect to move the animated adventure, or put it on Disney Plus as it did with Mulan earlier this year.
Meanwhile, two Warner Bros. films, Wonder Woman 1984 and Dune, are scheduled to drop in December. However, those releases could be postponed once again as well.
No Time To Die is significant in that it represents actor Daniel Craig's final on-screen appearance as the iconic James Bond character. As relayed by Movieweb in 2019, Craig has confirmed that he won't be continuing on with the franchise after having portrayed Agent 007 in five films, beginning with 2006's series reboot, Casino Royale.
The latest Bond film was directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, who previously won an Emmy for his work on the first season of HBO's True Detective. Along with Craig, it boasts a cast featuring Rami Malek, Léa Seydoux, Lashana Lynch, Ana de Armas, Ben Whishaw, Christoph Waltz, Jeffrey Wright and Ralph Fiennes.
As relayed previously by The Inquisitr, a report in The Sun asserted that Bond producers don't want de Armas to bring boyfriend Ben Affleck with her to the movie's premiere, when it does happen, out of fear that his appearance could be a distraction.