In an odd twist of fate, the 007 film No Time To Die is sort of becoming like MGM’s own version of New Mutants. In a new report from Deadline, it seems like Daniel Craig’s final outing as the British superspy is looking to push its release date back from Easter 2021 into Fall 2021. If you can believe it, COVID-19 is the reason for this delay (stop me if you’ve heard that one before).
With the pandemic basically halting all theaters in both the US and UK from reopening anytime soon, MGM has no idea when it might be able to officially release the film. Instead of putting it out into a market where it will die, the option of delaying the release further is apparently more appealing.
A lot of this story started with speculation from Dutch publication BN DeStem. A Dutch exhibitor named Carlo Lambregts had heard from the grapevine that MGM was anticipating more setbacks and Deadline checked some of its own sources. It came to a similar conclusion, though there has been no comment from either MGM or Universal -which is handling the international distribution of No Time To Die-.
As for why the film isn’t heading to a streaming service, the asking price is likely too high. MGM had screened the film for prospective services but put distribution rights at a whopping $600 million. While the last two Bond films made more money than that, I don’t think Netflix, Hulu, or HBO Max are willing to part with that much cash for what may be a film way past its opportune moment.
It’s strange to see MGM struggling to release a Bond film, especially with how lucrative the franchise is. We’re well past the days when a dud like Die Another Day was signaling the end of the brand. Maybe MGM should lower the cost for streaming rights and make up the rest on merchandise.