A few weeks ago in early September, I wrote about how No Time To Die was looking to be trying to keep its scheduled release date of November 2020.
I was skeptical about it sticking to that looming date that was only two months away, but no official announcement had been made of any change for its November release. Indications seemed like the film was gearing up for its scheduled November date.
A new trailer came out, new ads were popping up online, a whole new crop of posters were made, a new podcast for the film showed up, the soundtrack got released and the music video for Billie Eilish’s title song was released. It appeared the promotion was once again starting up for the approaching November release of Daniel Craig’s final performance as James Bond.
Well, throw all that out the window! No Time To Die has been delayed yet again. The official announcement has been made that the film will be delayed once again – No Time To Die‘s newest release date is now scheduled to be April 2021.
This is the fifth release date No Time To Die has had. The fifth.
Let’s see, first the films original release date was November 2019 (remember way back when Danny Boyle was hired and then left as director). Then it was delayed until February 2020 (remember we were thinking of making it a Valentine’s Day event?). Then it was pushed back a few months down the road to April 2020 (A James Bond movie coming out around Easter….ummm ok.). In March 2020 – one month before that release date – it was announced it would then be delayed until November 2020 (a fall release, that’s the more traditional time to go see a 007 movie). Hold on a minute, now we got word we won’t be seeing James Bond until April 2021.
What a wild ride this has been huh? I started to wonder, when the cast finally gets to do some interviews about the film, sitting down to do the usual promotion for the movie, will they even remember any anecdotes or stories to share about the production? Will it just be a fuzzy haze of memories that everyone will have from No Time To Die because it was so long ago when they worked on it?
Thinking about it, it’s been about seventeen months from the first announced release date for No Time To Die (November 2019) to this latest one (April 2021). I think that’s a longer time span than it took for George Lazenby to audition to be the new 007, to get hired, to film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, for that film to get released and then for George to depart the role as James Bond. Hmmm….I’ll have to double check that.
This latest delay for No Time To Die shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. The real surprise will be when we actually get to see this movie!
The global pandemic caused by Covid-19 has caused chaos and health concerns in just about everything since it struck, including cinema. Theater closures, delays in productions and releases have practically shut down Hollywood and the cinema going experience for audiences around the world.
Big releases like, A Quiet Place Part 2, Candyman, Fast and Furious 9, The Batman, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Godzilla vs Kong, Halloween Kills, The King’s Man, Top Gun: Maverick, along with many, many other films have had their release dates disrupted. Release date delays and halts in productions have essentially turned moviegoing into a tailspin and put a halt to it since the start of the year.
Recently a slew of highly anticipated films that were hoping to be released this fall were announced to be delayed, in some cases delayed for their second time. Black Widow, Wonder Woman 1984, Eternals, West Side Story, Deep Water. For a short stretch No Time To Die was the sole movie holdout looking like it was stubbornly holding onto its release in November.
That finally gave way.
Avoiding the problems of being released in theaters, the other alternative is for films to be released on streaming services. Disney’s Mulan and Tom Hanks’ Greyhound have done that. Bill and Ted: Face The Music had a combined theatrical and on-demand release, after having its release date delayed. I’ve seen many Bond fans hoping that would be the announced alternative for No Time To Die. Bond fans are at their wits end with this movie.
Fans are anxious to see the movie and the never-ending wait for it and consistent delays they’ve endured for nearly two years with it are making them cry “Uncle!”. Some are willing to just watch it at home and nix the idea of seeing it in a theater. But, it doesn’t appear like 007 wants to take that streaming option route and wants to stick with being a big-screen theatrical experience for fans.
The year of 2020 has practically put cinema in a complete frozen stasis. There really hasn’t been much activity to talk about – besides the latest announced film delays. I suppose they’ve still been tabulating the weekly box office numbers with what movies have managed a release.
In fact, the last news I heard about a films box office was how The Empire Strikes Back was near the top of the charts at one point thanks to drive-in showings it has had over the last few months. I also heard Hocus Pocus is also doing quite well. Screenings of it apparently are drawing in the kids.
It’s really only been Christopher Nolan’s Tenet that has attempted to venture into the desolate cinematic landscape caused by the pandemic. Most of the studios don’t want to take that risk. So, now No Time To Die joins all those other films to be put on hold, sit on the bench and wait things out longer.
The likelihood of any moviegoing normalcy returning really doesn’t look much better now as when the pandemic first struck. Some countries are doing better than others. Some areas are functioning more normally compared to where it’s close to a complete lockdown in other places.
Many theaters remain closed and those that are open (at least around my parts) have limited capacity restrictions. Plus, there’s moviegoers who still don’t feel safe walking into a theater and sitting amongst a crowded audience.
It seems pretty reasonable why a studio wouldn’t want to risk putting out a film that cost them hundreds of millions of dollars to make during all this. That is the plight No Time To Die is now facing.
They just keep kicking this can down the road, waiting for the situation to improve. But there’s no guarantee things will be any better in April 2021. Suppose it isn’t? What will they do then? Will they just give the film another kick to November 2021?
Maybe they should just stop promising any release dates and simply say ‘To Be Announced’ in regard to No Time To Die. That would at least stop teasing fans and not get us to mark a date on our calendars to go see this thing.
Hopefully, EON is using all this unexpected time for the release of No Time To Die prepping for the future of 007. Maybe use this time to consider candidates for the new Bond, work on some story ideas for Bond 26, start planning out an overarching story over multiple films if they want to stick with a continuity between the films, dig through their desk drawers and start pulling out some old unused stunt concepts they could use.
If they’re just going to use all this wait time coming up with more crappy posters like the ones they’ve been giving fans it’s just a wasted opportunity.
Anyway, there it is. Once again Bond fans, here’s another release date delay for No Time To Die. Sure, feel free to let out a sigh, roll your eyes and shake your head at this announcement. Make yourself a shaken martini if you like. Then sit back and restart counting down to the promised date when we see James Bond return.
We should all be getting numb about these delays at this point.