Release of new James Bond film No Time To Die is pushed back from April to November because of coronavirus outbreak
- The 25th Bond adventure was originally scheduled to be released on March 31
- But now it will not be released until November following ‘careful consideration’
- Earlier this week, die-hard 007 fans had begged MGM and Universal to delay it
- A fan website suggested the delay amid fears coronavirus might close cinemas
- The deadly virus has infected more than 92,000 worldwide and now killed 3,110
The release date for James Bond film No Time To Die has been postponed until November amid fears around coronavirus.
The film was due to be released in April, but Bond producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli have said that ‘after careful consideration and thorough evaluation of the global theatrical marketplace’ it must be delayed.
A new release date has been set for November 12 in the UK with worldwide release dates to follow, including the US launch on November 25.
News of the delay was announced via the film’s official Twitter account.
It comes amid growing concerns over the threat of deadly coronavirus which has infected more than 92,000 worldwide and killed 3,110 globally, according to the World Health Organisation.
No Time TO Die will now be released in the UK on November 12 with worldwide release dates to follow, including the US launch on November 25
The 25th film in the franchise will mark Daniel Craig’s fifth and final time as the spy. The film also stars Lea Seydoux, Rami Malek, Lashana Lynch and Ana De Armas
Earlier this week, die-hard 007 fans begged MGM and Universal to delay the release of the sequel in an open letter after an Asian promotional tour for the 25th installment was cancelled.
Fan website MI6-HQ posted an open letter in which it said it was time for MGM and Universal ‘to put public health above marketing release schedules and the cost of canceling publicity events’.
The situation in China has already prompted the studios to move the release of the film in Hong Kong to April 30 and to cancel the film’s publicity tours in China, South Korea and Japan.
The world premiere for No Time To Die was scheduled to take place on March 31 at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
The 25th film in the franchise will mark Daniel Craig’s fifth and final time as the spy.
The film also stars Lea Seydoux, Rami Malek, Lashana Lynch and Ana De Armas.
Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, the film also saw Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge drafted in to improve its script.
No Time To Die finds Bond after he has left active service and is enjoying a tranquil life in Jamaica when his old friend Felix Leiter, played by Jeffrey Wright, from the CIA turns up asking for help.
The situation in China has already prompted the studios to move the release of the film in Hong Kong to April 30 and to cancel the film’s publicity tours in China, South Korea and Japan (pictured, a woman wearing a mask walks past a No Time To Die poster in Bangkok last week)
The fan website MI6-HQ posted an open letter in which it said it was time for MGM and Universal ‘to put public health above marketing release schedules and the cost of canceling publicity events’
The situation in the Far East has prompted estimates that box office takings could be hit by up to tens of millions of pounds globally. It comes after China was the highest grossing foreign country for the previous Bond film, Spectre.
The fan website had suggested the release be pushed back to the summer amid fears that the spread of coronavirus might lead to the closure of cinemas or keep people from wanting to go to see the film at movie theatres.
‘With a month to go before ‘No Time To Die’ opens worldwide, community spread of the virus is likely to be peaking in the United States,’ the open letter said.
‘There is a significant chance that cinemas will be closed, or their attendance severely reduced, by early April. Even if there are no legal restrictions on cinemas being open, to quote M in Skyfall, ‘how safe do you feel?”
Want release pushed to summer: The letter concluded: ‘It’s just a movie. The health and well-being of fans around the world, and their families, is more important’
Sneak peek: Daniel Craig and Lashana Lynch looked stoic as they watched an action-packed scene with director Cary Fukunaga in BTS snap from No Time To Die, that was shared on Friday
The world premiere screening was set for London’s Royal Albert Hall which has a capacity of more than 5,000, the limit affected countries are now banning for public gatherings.
‘Just one person, who may not even show symptoms, could infect the rest of the audience. This is not the type of publicity anyone wants,’ the MI6-HQ letter stated.
‘The UK and US outbreaks are in their early stages, but if they follow the predictable pattern of other developed countries, the situation by late March and early April will not be conducive to the box-office.’
The letter concluded: ‘It’s just a movie. The health and well-being of fans around the world, and their families, is more important.’
‘We have all waited over four years for this film. Another few months will not damage the quality of the film and only help the box-office for Daniel Craig’s final hurrah.’
Across the globe the the international Coronavirus outbreak could lose the film industry as much as £4billion ($5billion), according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Box offices have been taking a hit since Chinese theaters shuttered for the past weeks and now cases throughout the Italy, South Korea, and Japan are only intensifying bottom-line worries.
On the back-burner: Disney has postponed the Chinese premiere of their live-action Mulan adaptation from its March schedule
While £4billion ($5billion) is the current estimate, the number could grow even bigger if the outbreak continues to intensify in the US, where there have been 100 confirmed cases so far.
The outbreak has left over 70,000 Chinese theaters closed for the past several weeks, devastating the world’s second largest movie market.
Over the Chinese New Year holiday from January 24 to February 23, movie ticket sales plunged from 2019’s whopping £1.37billion ($1.76billion) to a paltry £3.2million ($4.2million), according to consultancy group Artisan Gateway.
And theaters are unsure if they will get to open soon, expecting weeks – if not months – more closures.
Countries like Italy, South Korea, and Japan – the world’s fourth largest box office market – are also facing significant numbers of cases, further suppressing film profits.
Disney has also postponed the Chinese premiere of their live-action Mulan adaptation from its March schedule, quite significant as the £155million ($200million) film with all-Asian cast was almost tailor-made for the Chinese market.
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