It still isn’t time for No Time to Die. Multiple sources are reporting that the debut of the 25th James Bond film is likely to be pushed back once again, marking the fourth time the film has been delayed. No new release date has been announced.
Right now, this can be considered an unverified leak, and apparently began from claims on a Dutch website that the film is headed towards later in the year. Reportedly, several promotional partners on No Time to Die have also been informed that the movie is likely to slide to autumn 2021, possibly November.
There’s a lot riding on the success of No Time to Die. Its production company Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) tried to shop it around to video-on-demand services last October, asking for but not getting a $600 million fee from streaming giants like Netflix or Amazon Prime. The multiple delays on the film have reportedly cost MGM somewhere in the neighborhood of $50 million already, on top of the $250 million that No Time to Die cost to make.
If No Time to Die had come out on time back in November of 2019, MGM might have been better able to weather the aftereffects of the COVID-19 pandemic. As it is, it’s currently a useful example of how the modern film industry depends on theaters, and the big box office takes that come from a movie’s initial debut, to make their operation profitable.
Notably, MGM is also one of the last major studios in Hollywood that has yet to found its own streaming service. While it has an impressive lineup of films in its library, including the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series, the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogies, and The Cabin in the Woods, its run so far in the 21st century has been punctuated by bad decisions (such as that Death Wish remake) and several outright flops, including a short-lived spat with Starz that came down to MGM being bad at tracking who it had authorized to air its films at any given time.
MGM’s near-total reliance on the theater system has cost it dearly in the last year, and it began to explore putting itself up for sale in December. The company is currently valued at a surprisingly cheap $5.5 billion.
No Time to Die is planned to be the fifth and final film in Daniel Craig’s run as James Bond, and features Bond coming out of retirement for one last job. It co-stars Rami Malek, Léa Seydoux, Lashana Lynch, Naomie Harris, Christoph Waltz, and Ralph Fiennes, and was directed by Cory Joji Fukunaga from a screenplay by himself, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge.