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The movie is set to debut in April.
An open letter posted on fan site MI6-HQ.com urged EON Productions, MGM Studios and Universal Pictures to halt the release of the Daniel Craig-led movie until the summer since outbreaks in the United States and United Kingdom, where the film will debut, could reach levels that would make activities such as going to the theater a risk to public health.
Officials in China and Italy have already shut down some public locations including theaters due to the virus, and a Beijing premiere set for April was canceled due to fear of spread.
The spread of the disease is wreaking havoc with the global economy and Hollywood is not immune. More than 70,000 movie theaters have been shuttered in China for weeks and now with South Korea spreading at a pace faster than China plus concerns in Japan, the Asian movie market for the short term has already been damaged. Yesterday, trade newspaper, The Hollywood Reporter based on figures from 2019, projected that the global film industry is eyeing a $5 billion loss from the coronavirus.
The Bond group in its letter wrote: “It is by no means easy to say this: the release of 'No Time To Die' should be postponed. It is time to put public health above marketing release schedules and the cost of canceling publicity events. It’s just a movie,” the note continued, adding that “the health and well-being of fans around the world, and their families, is more important.”
Since initial reports of the outbreak in China’s Wuhan, Hubei Province, the virus has spread to 42 new locations, infecting more than 80,000 people and killing nearly 3,000.
While there are around 60 confirmed U.S. cases, including 44 Americans who were infected aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship and flown back for treatment, health officials at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention warn that number could soon grow.
“Ultimately, we expect we will see community spread in this country,” Nancy Messonnier, M.D., director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said on a conference call earlier this week, adding that the agency is “asking the American public to prepare for the expectation that this might be bad.”