The latest edition in the James Bond franchise, “No Time to Die,” was set to debut in April. But now producers are delaying the release until November because of concerns related to the coronavirus outbreak. The franchise posted the announcement to Twitter on Wednesday.
“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.”
The delay comes after fans of the series called out producers in an open letter posted on website MI6-HQ.com, urging EON Productions, MGM Studios and Universal Pictures to push back the Daniel Craig-led movie debut in the United States and United Kingdom.
They said activities such as going to the theater could be a risk to public health.
“It is by no means easy to say this: the release of 'No Time To Die' should be postponed,” the letter read. “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.”
Officials in China and Italy have already shut down some public locations including theaters because of the virus, and a Beijing premiere set for April was canceled because of a fear that the virus would spread.
More than 70,000 movie theaters have been closed in China for weeks and The Hollywood Reporter based on figures from 2019, projected that the global film industry is eyeing a $5 billion loss from the coronavirus.
While there are around 60 confirmed U.S. cases, including 44 Americans who were infected aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship and flown back to the United States for treatment, health officials at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention warn that number could grow.
“Ultimately, we expect we will see community spread in this country,” Dr. Nancy Messonnier, 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.”
The number of reported cases of the virus in the United Kingdom was at 87 Wednesday.