The release of the next James Bond film, No Time To Die, is officially being pushed back to 12 November, only four weeks ahead of its planned release date of 2 April.
The official Bond Twitter feed said at 5pm today that "after careful consideration and thorough evaluation of the global theatrical marketplace," producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli had decided to move things back, leaving fans waiting another seven months to see it.
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. pic.twitter.com/a9h1RP5OKd— James Bond (@007) March 4, 2020
The film will be released in the U.K. on November 12, 2020 with worldwide release dates to follow, including the US launch on November 25, 2020.— James Bond (@007) March 4, 2020
There's no specific mention of coronavirus or COVID-19 in the tweets, but it's fairly obvious that that's the only thing that could persuade a juggernaut like the Bond franchise to rip up its plans at the last moment.
This follows yesterday's plea from fan sites MI6-HQ and The James Bond Dossier to push the date of No Time To Die back in order to protect public health and because "the situation by late March and early April will not be conducive to the box office [profits]".
Given that 38 per cent of Spectre's return came from countries now affected by coronavirus to the extent that public gatherings and events are restricted, that consideration is likely to have played a part.
Though the decision seems abrupt on first glance, the publicity machine around No Time To Die had made some changes in response to the changing situation around the coronavirus. As the open letter notes, publicity of Japan, China and South Korea had already been cancelled in the wake of its spread.
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