THE release of the new James Bond movie No Time To Die has been postponed until November due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Studio bosses have pushed back the latest film in the 007 franchise by six months after evaluation of the "global theatrical marketplace".
The film will now be released in the UK on November 12, 2020 with worldwide release dates to follow, including the US launch on November 25, 2020.
A statement on the movie's official Twitter page reads: "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."
Yesterday The Sun reported that the release of the new James Bond film had been thrown into crisis due to the coronavirus.
Bosses at Eon Productions had been considering bringing forward the release of No Time To Die by almost a month to be shown in cinemas next week.
News of the delay came after fans urged the film’s bigwigs to push its release back until the summer months to give the virus time to be controlled, instead of the planned April 3 release.
The film, which has been beset with problems and delays, is to be Daniel Craig’s last outing as 007 after 15 years as the spy.
A business insider said: “Everyone in production is really concerned about the impact of the virus.
“The more it spreads, the more people will be inclined to self-isolate which will really damage the film’s box office takings.
“There have been formal discussions about bringing it forward, and it’s been suggested that it could even be brought forward to next week rather than waiting until April to see how things pan out with the spread of the virus.”
Another source added: “A lot of the crew just want the film to come out now.
“To say it’s been a labour of love is an understatement.”
The panic among production staff comes as two of the franchise’s largest and most popular fan-sites published an open letter addressed to EON, MGM Studios and Universal about their response to the global illness.
The note, signed off by MI6 Confidential and The James Bond Dossier founders James Page and David Leigh, urged them to cancel the release of the film.
The letter says: “After enduring three delays in production already, it is by no means easy to say this: the release of No Time To Die should be postponed.
“With the coronavirus reaching pandemic status, it is time to put public health above marketing release schedules and the cost of cancelling publicity events.”
The sites stress that the drop in box office figures in Japan and China prove its planned release in the UK would be a mistake.
In January and February in 2019 theatres made £1.17billion — while in the same period in 2020 they pulled in £3million.
What are the next phases in tackling the outbreak?
- Publicity campaigns to promote good hygiene measures among the British public
- Population distancing measures will be considered such as school closures, encouraging people to work from home and cancelling large scale gatherings like concerts and sports matches
- Measures to protect vulnerable individuals or those with illnesses and who are more at risk will be looked at
- Prepare for multiple waves of the virus to occur.
- Gather evidence about which interventions have so fat been effective at containing the spread.
- Drawing down on stockpiles of drugs and required medicines if needed
- Early discharge from hospital and look after people in their own homes instead
- Non urgent care could be delayed to prioritise more sick people
- Calling on NHS staff who have left to return back to help fight the epidemic
- Work with local councils to provide advice on increase in deaths
- Distributing the UK's stockpiles of key medicines and equipment
- Possible new laws to keep systems working like ensuring doctor's licenses are valid and making sure class sizes can be bigger if needed
Publicity tours for the film in China, South Korea, and Japan have already been cancelled while its release in Hong Kong was pushed back to April 30th.
The letter, called No Time For Indecision, also says the March 31 world premiere of the flick, Craig’s fifth and final Bond film, should be cancelled.
They added: “Hundreds of fans and celebrities from around the world will be flying to the UK to attend.
The Royal Albert Hall capacity is above the 5,000 limit that affected countries are banning for public gatherings.
“Just one person, who may not even show symptoms, could infect the rest of the audience.
“This is not the type of publicity anyone wants.
“The UK and US outbreaks are in their early stages, but if they follow the predictable pattern of other developed countries, the situation by late March and early April will not be conducive to the box-office.
“Delay the release of No Time To Die until the summer when experts expect the epidemics to have peaked and to be under control.
"It’s just a movie. The health and wellbeing of fans around the world, and their families, is more important.
“We have all waited over four years for this film.
“Another few months will not damage the quality of the film and only help the box-office for Daniel Craig’s final hurrah.”
What you can do to help in the UK fight against coronavirus
- Follow public health advice on handwashing regularly for at least 20 seconds
- Reduce the impact and spread of misinformation by only relying on trusted sources like the NHS website, and Gov.UK
- Check and follow the latest FCO travel advice when travelling and planning to travel
- Ensure you and your family's vaccinations are up to date to reduce pressures on the NHS
- Checking on vulnerable family, friends and neighbours
- Using NHs 111, pharmacies and GPs responsible, and only go the hospital when you really need to
- Being understanding of the pressures the health and social care systems may be under and receptive to changes
- Accepting that the advice for managing the illness for most people will be self-isolating at home and over the counter medications
- Checking for new advice as the situation changes
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