The widely anticipated delay was announced overnight.
In a move that is unlikely to have surprised anyone the official 007 website and social media channels last night announced a further delay to No Time to Die.
Without mentioning the covid-19 pandemic, the announcement on the website simply reads:
No Time To Die will be released in cinemas globally on 8 October 2021.
With the pandemic still raging the move was widely expected. The trade journals had signalled it was likely to happen and merchandise partners were reportedly warned of the impending delay. More solidly, the official 007 Store added new products listed for delivery in “autumn” and “November”. Why would they do that unless a delay was expected?
The big question now is whether the film will actually see a 2021 release. After all much of the world is experiencing a worse surge than in the spring of 2020.
On one hand we now have a number of viable vaccines as well as better knowledge of the disease and how it is best treated. While vaccine rollout is slower than some may have hoped for, we should see manufacturers scale up production and better distribution networks over the next few months.
However, the vaccine isn’t 100% effective and we should expect some safety measures in place for the foreseeable future. Also, it is likely we we will require booster shots every six to nine months but, as it’s a novel coronavirus, no one actually yet knows.
It’s clear that life isn’t simply going to return to normal overnight. And while vaccine makers are confident they can tweak their vaccines to make them effective against new strains of the virus we may find ourselves locked down in the future as the virus continues to evolve. We are living Darwinism in real time.
And even if the entire population is vaccinated, how long will it be before cinema goers return en masse to watch films on the big screen?
A core of diehard film lovers are guaranteed, but blockbusters need a much wider ranging audience and it is likely to take some time for audience confidence to return.
So, if I were putting money on it right now I’d say No Time to Die will be a 2022 release – and that is if we get the pandemic under control soon.