Entertainment Movies James Bond on ice, as virus fears prove too much for backers

James Bond on ice, as virus fears prove too much for backers

no time to die release delay
Daniel Craig's fifth – and last – Bond film will not be seen until November. Photo: MI6-HQ
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The global release of the upcoming James Bond film has been delayed more than six months amid fears the expanding coronavirus outbreak will hit the world’s entertainment markets.

No Time To Die, the fifth and last Bond film to star Daniel Craig, was due in cinemas in early April.

But its producers said on Thursday they had put the release date back to November.

“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,” they tweeted.

A similar statement appeared on the film’s official website 007.com.

It made no immediate mention of the COVID-19 epidemic. But the decision did come a day after a call to delay the release due to the coronavirus from popular James Bond fan site MI6-HQ.

The site published an open letter to the producers, urging them to delay the film’s rollout.

“It is time to put public health above marketing release schedules and the cost of cancelling publicity events,” the letter read.

No Time to Die will now be released in Britain on November 12, followed by worldwide release dates, including the United States, on November 25, the producers tweeted via the official James Bond account.

The film is set in Jamaica, where Ian Fleming wrote the original Bond novels in the 1950s and 1960s, and in Norway, Britain and Italy, the producers said earlier.

The previous Bond film, Spectre, took in more than $US880 million ($A1.3 billion) at the box office worldwide when it was released in 2015.

-with AAP

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