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James Bond Movie “No Time to Die” Release Pushed Back Amid Coronavirus Fears

The latest James Bond film, No Time to Die, was meant to be released in April. Amid coronavirus fears, the 25th 007 will now be delayed until November.

In a statement, MGM, Eon and Universal say the decision was made “after careful consideration and thorough evaluation of the global theatrical marketplace”.

The move comes after fears that coronavirus could impact the global box office by as much as $5 billion. There had been cinema closures in Italy, South Korea, China and Japan. The James Bond franchise is traditionally buoyed by international markets, with the last four films all making over 70 percent of their gross revenue outside of America.

The film will now be released in the U.S. on November 25, 2020, and internationally starting on November 12. Universal is handling the international rollout.

Although the delayed release date of the latest James Bond is meant to protect the film from a small box office return, its new date comes with its own challenges. No Time to Die will now open at the same times as Godzilla vs. Kong and Raya and the Last Dragon, two major films from Warner Bros. and Disney respectively.

A November release date might make more sense, argue some critics.

“November has been the traditional home for Bond in the modern era so it makes total sense to move ‘No Time To Die’ to that new date,” Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore, said, “And it’s certainly in the best interest of the movie, given the current situation, to get creative and do what needs to be done to ensure the best outcome for the film and for the fans who will just have to wait a bit longer to get a hold of James Bond.”

No Time to Die cost a reported $200 million to make and has been beset with problems during production, including a late-in-the-day departure from original director Danny Boyle and a serious ankle injury for Daniel Craig. The movie was originally set for a November 2019 release date, which was then moved to February 2020 and then again to April.

The James Bond film is the first major flick to change its release date owing to coronavirus concerns, but its expected that it won’t be the last. Disney’s Mulan, due to be released in late March, has long been expected to perform well in China; however, if theater closures continue, its tally at the box office could take a hit.

Disney has not said the movie’s March release in China has been altered, but many are bracing for the announcement. The company’s biggest worry is that the film will be pirated over the internet, putting a dent in potential ticket sales.

Another hit the film industry may weather is related to shooting on location. U.S. film companies could begin to halt production of movies being shot internationally. Already, Paramount Pictures has halted production of Mission: Impossible VII in Italy. Sony Pictures has temporarily shuttered its offices in London, Paris and Poland due to coronavirus fears.

Idris Elba James Bond

Idris Elba Pegged as the Next James Bond

Despite quashing rumors two years ago, gossips are twittering that Idris Elba has been pegged as the next James Bond once again.

Back in 2016, Elba said “I think I’m too old for that man, running around in cars and ladies and martinis, who wants to do that?”, yet people are still unconvinced.

After the producer of the film franchise, Barbara Broccoli, recently stated that “it is time” for a non-white hero to take play the suave British spy, fans have gone into frenzy.

The Luther (2010-2018) star further fanned the flames of suspicion when he published a rather playful tweet saying “The Name’s Elba. Idris Elba”. Was he simply teasing or was this an early announcement?    

Daniel Craig is said to be giving his fifth and final performance in Bond’s next installment. He played the fascinating character for more than 10 years, his first performance being in Casino Royale (2006). Danny Boyle was originally lined up to direct the forthcoming the 25th film in the series. However, recent reports say that Boyle has withdrawn himself from captaining the next chapter due to “artistic differences”. This drama surrounding the franchise has only added to the anticipation of the famous fictional character’s fate.

Elba has been a favorite to replace Craig since 2014 when the digital hack of Sony revealed documents with Amy Pascal, co-chair of the company, putting the actor forward for the role. Since then, he has been top of the public’s list. Elba is also the top choice amongst “bookies”, who are hastily taking bets on the subject.

A poll held by cinema chain ODEON rendered these results with regards to favourite actors to fill the role. Fans were asked to name their favourite choices for 007 and, unsurprisingly, Elba came out on top:

  • Idris Elba: 26 percent
  • Tom Hardy: 22 percent
  • Tom Hiddleston: 11 percent
  • Aidan Turner: 5percent
  • James Norton: 5 percent

Film 25 won’t hit the silver screen until October 2019, but until then, we can imagine, rumours on the next James Bond actor will continue to circulate.

What do you think about Idris Elba being pegged as the next James Bond—is it likely? Which actor do you want to see in the role?

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