No Time to Die to be delayed to 2021?

Restrictions introduced due to Covid-19 may be with us for some time. No Time to Die could suffer a further delay as a result.

Studio execs are considering delaying No Time to Die until 2021 according to the Daily Mail’s Baz Bamigboye. Bamigboye has repeatedly shown he is in the loop on the Bond films over the years with numerous inside scoops.

The film has followed a rocky road to release. After first being delayed from autumn 2019 to February 2020 after Danny Boyle exited the project it was later shunted to April.

When that coincided with Covid 19 hitting Europe and the United States, the film was further delayed to November 2020. But even that date is looking shaky according to Bamigboye:

At the time, many regarded it as a smart, decisive move. But with discussions still ongoing about when and how mass entertainment venues such as cinemas can safely reopen, some studio executives are now thinking its release should be pushed back even further — into next year, if an available date can be found. So many blockbuster release dates have already been shunted into 2021 that available screens are scarce.

While some have predicted that No Time to Die may receive a video on demand (VOD) release in November, or a simultaneous release in cinemas and VOD, Bamigboye notes:

It’s the big screen or nothing for Bond. The picture certainly won’t be launched on a computer screen or an iPhone. ‘If it has to wait till next year then so be it,’ I was told by a close source.

While that may be the plan now, events could dictate otherwise. Consumer sentiment and continued restrictions on venues may make it tempting for a further delay. But pushing the film to 2021 makes a couple of assumptions.

The first of those is that there will be a vaccine. And while a number of vaccine candidates have been identified and at various stages of testing, most potential vaccines do not work. It takes trial and error to find ones that are effective. It may be several years before a vaccine becomes available.

The second assumption is that Covid-19 follows the same path as influenza and mutates into something less severe. In effect the virus simply disappears.

But there is no guarantee either of that either. Spanish Flu, which is a useful comparison for some aspects of the current pandemic, isn’t a good fit when estimating how long Covid-19 will be with us. The Spanish Flu arrived in spring 1918 and “vanished” in the summer of 1919 after killing up to 50 million people. Flu viruses mutate fast and it is likely that it mutated into a less deadly strain.

However Covid-19 is not a flu virus and genetic testing shows it is relatively stable. That means it is unlikely to mutate into a less severe virus in the short term and may be with us long term, or even permanently. So one risk of shifting No Time to Die to 2021 is that conditions next year remain more or less like they are now.

That means people will continue to practice social distancing, cinemas will have limited capacity and cinema-goers remain wary of crowds even in reduced capacity venues. If that turns out to be the case do we expect a further delay, or do Eon Products and MGM bite the bullet and release it on VOD anyway?

Only time will tell, but simply delaying doesn’t necessarily solve the release problem.

And with many films already postponed until 2021 already, No Time to Die may find it difficult to find a suitable releases date when it isn’t up against another blockbuster.

To finish on a positive note, Bamigboye says this about No Time to Die:

Meanwhile I’m hearing good things (as you would, I guess) from the tiny number of people lucky enough to have been allowed to see it.

Source: Daily Mail

David Leigh founded The James Bond Dossier in 2002. A fan of 007 since the age of 8, he is also author of The Complete Guide to the Drinks of James Bond. You can order a copy here if you don't own it already.

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3 Responses to “No Time to Die to be delayed to 2021?”

  • Tim

    I would like to see Bond as a pay per view event. Perhaps add all the rest Craig films. I don’t want to wait so long to see it. I will see it in the Theater when available, but need the new Bond NOW!!!

  • Peter

    We all, all fans of 007 are waiting with wringing hands for “No Time to die”. I am convinced that a video on demand availability of this film would be twice as worthwhile for the publishers. The fans thirst for the film. And they will watch the film both on video on demand and later in the cinema.

  • Scott ... Jason Scott

    I have always waited a few weeks “after” a Bond release date to see the movie. I’ve chosen a weekday afternoon where there might be limited folks in the theatre and then (always excited as hell) I sit down in a massive theatre (almost by myself) to enjoy my very first viewing of the new Bond picture, knowing that after that, I will probably watch it 100 times again on a smaller screen. But the “first” time is ALWAYS at a theatre. It’s just worth it.