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No Time to Die delayed again

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No Time to Die, the upcoming 25th James Bond film which will serve as star Daniel Craig’s swan-song as the martini-shaking super-spy, has been delayed once more. The long-awaited blockbuster will now be hitting cinema screens on 8 October 2021, according to a very brief new press release from Bond production studios MGM and EON Productions.

Back in March 2020, just two weeks before its original 2 April 2020 release, No Time to Die became the first major production to move dates in the face of the then-looming COVID-19 pandemic, prompting a slew of delayed productions from other studios. It was bumped first to 12 and then 25 November, before it became apparent that cinemas were not going to be able to reopen any time soon, and No Time to Die was pushed back all the way to 2 April 2021, a full year after its original slot. But now even that date has been scrapped.

United Artists (who handle distribution in the US) and Universal Pictures (who handle international distribution) are notably concerned about when the traditional theatrical industry will get back on its feet. Britain – Bond’s home – and the US – the franchise’s biggest box office market – both have increasingly alarming COVID-19 numbers. Britain is currently under lockdown as a new strain of the deadly virus ravages the population, while the US have the highest death toll in the world. Cinemas are definitely not reopening in either country any time soon.

Late last year, watercooler talk revealed that MGM and EON thought about bypassing the whole cinema experience though by putting No Time To Die up for sale to a streaming service for a whopping $600 million. Seeing as how none of Craig’s Bond films has ever made under $500 million, you could kind of see the maths, but it was still too rich for everybody’s blood as all the major services passed. In Dec 2020, MGM put itself – and all its properties, including crown jewel James Bond – up for sale for $5 billion. There haven’t been any takers so far that we’re aware of, but if another major studio snatches it up (Universal makes the most sense here), then we could see No Time to Die’s release strategy change yet again.

No Time to Die is directed/co-written by Cary Fukunaga (True Detective, Beasts of No Nation) and also sees Lea Seydoux, Jeffrey Wright, Ben Whishaw, Ralph Fiennes, and Christoph Waltz returning in their roles. Newcomers include Ana de Armas, Lashana Lynch, and Oscar-winner Rami Malek as the film’s villain.

Last Updated: January 22, 2021

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