MGM and Universal have moved the James Bond film “No Time to Die” from its November release date to April 2, 2021, as the latest wave of COVID-19 delays continues to roll through the movie release slate.
“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 2021 in order to be seen by a worldwide theatrical audience,” the filmmakers said 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.”
The move comes after Disney announced release changes for many of its films, most notably “Black Widow,” which was set for release on November 6 but was moved to summer 2021.
“No Time to Die” was initially set to hit theaters last April, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, it was moved to Nov. 20, then Nov. 25, and now next April.
With a vaccine still months away and multiple regions still struggling to contain COVID-19, it has proved nearly impossible for Hollywood studios to coordinate releases for a global blockbuster. Warner Bros. took the big leap with “Tenet” and found respectable overseas numbers, grossing $215 million internationally from 54 countries.
But “Tenet” has also struggled to perform in U.S. theaters, grossing $36 million from 2,930 theaters with New York, Los Angeles, and several other major cities still keeping their movie theaters closed. Despite lobbying from the National Association of Theater Owners, health officials for those major markets have not budged, leaving uncertainty over the short-term availability of theaters that has become a factor in the latest wave of slate moves.
Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, “No Time to Die” stars Daniel Craig as James Bond, with co-stars Rami Malek, Ana de Armas, Léa Seydoux, Christoph Waltz, Ralph Fiennes, Billy Magnussen, Naomie Harris, Jeffrey Wright, Lashana Lynch and Ben Whishaw.
This film will be Craig’s final performance as James Bond. “No Time to Die” will see 007 get pulled out of the retirement he was starting to enjoy at the end of “Spectre” thanks to a visit from his CIA friend Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright). Felix needs help locating a missing scientist, and when it is revealed that this scientist is kidnapped, Bond is once again sent on a deadly mission that brings him face to face with a new foe played by Rami Malek.