As it turns out, April really was no time to die at all since the 25th James Bond movie, No Time to Die, has moved off its April release date in favor for a November debut. The news is the latest fallout from rising global anxiety over the coronavirus outbreak turning into a full-on pandemic.
MGM Pictures and Eon Productions, the latter of whom produces the James Bond franchise, made the news official on Wednesday when they tweeted out that the intended April release for No Time to Die has been scrapped in favor of a Nov. 12 release in the UK and a Nov. 25 release in the U.S.
“MGM, Universal, and Bond producers, Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, announced today that after careful consideration and thorough evaluation of the global theatrical marketplace, the release of NO TIME TO DIE will be postponed until November 2020,” the social media statement read.
The news is hardly out of the blue. Earlier in the week, popular James Bond fan site MI6 wrote an open letter to producers Wilson and Broccoli requesting a delay of release to better protect public health. The letter said, “The health and well-being of fans around the world, and their families, is more important” than the release of a movie. Given MI6’s close relationship with Eon—for whom they’ve published official books in the past—this statement may not have been made without some beforehand conversation.
The No Time to Die delay is just the latest example of major public and commercial events being scrapped due to reasonable fears of the coronavirus crisis. In the last week alone, Google has cancelled its I/O developers conference, which was slated for May, Facebook’s F8 Developers conference has likewise cancelled, and the Game Developers Conference, which was scheduled to occur in San Francisco later this month, has been postponed until at least summer. Amazon, Twitter, and Mashable have all also pulled out of SXSW (although the film, music, and tech festival is still scheduled to go on), while Disney closed Shanghai Disney in January and more recently closed Hong Kong Disneyland, and is now also temporarily shuttering Japan’s Tokyo’s Disneyland and DisneySea. The Universal Studios in Tokyo has likewise closed.
These events appear prudent given the rapid spread of coronavirus across six of the planet’s seven continents, including recent escalation in the U.S., which has seen 129 confirmed cases and nine deaths so far. Globally there have been more than 94,800 confirmed cases of coronavirus infection, which has resulted in the death of at least 3,238 people.
No Time to Die still remains one of the most anticipated movie events of 2020. Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, it is the 007 swan song to the Daniel Craig era, which has lasted five films. Intended to close the book on Craig’s iteration of James Bond, the movie has already endured delays in the past as it evolved from a Danny Boyle project into a Fukunaga movie. The film also stars Léa Seydoux, Ana de Armas, Lashana Lynch, and Rami Malek as the newest Bond villain, Safin.