The release date for the upcoming James Bond film, "No Time to Die," has been delayed from April 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," a tweet on the film's Twitter account read.
In a statement to Deadline, the studio said the film would now be released in the U.K. on November 12 and in the U.S on November 25. Publicity tours for the film had recently been cancelled in China, South Korea and Japan due to the spread of COVID-19.
Theaters in China have been closed for weeks following the outbreak of the virus, and may begin to impact moviegoers in other countries as the virus spreads. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the global film industry may face a $5 billion loss amid the outbreak.
A few days before the decision to postpone the film's release date was announced, staff at the James Bond fan blog M16 HQ wrote an open letter to EON, MGM and Universal studios requesting a postponement of the film's release.
"With the Coronavirus reaching pandemic status, it is time to put public health above marketing release schedules and the cost of canceling publicity events," the letter said.
"Delay the release of 'No Time To Die' until the summer when experts expect the epidemics to have peaked and to be under control. It’s just a movie. The health and well-being of fans around the world, and their families, is more important. We have all waited over 4 years for this film. Another few months will not damage the quality of the film and only help the box-office for Daniel Craig’s final hurrah."
"No Time to Die" stars Daniel Craig as James Bond, who has retired his 007 title in the film. Lea Seydoux also returns as Madeleine Swann and Ben Whishaw will reprise his role as Q. Lashana Lynch will play Nomi, rumoured to be the next agent 007. Rami Malek will play the film's villain.
Since the virus was detected late 2019, the coronavirus known as COVID-19 has infected more than 94,000 people globally with more than 3,200 deaths.
It's important to keep numbers like these in context. Millions of Americans get the flu every single year and there are thousands of flu deaths annually.
Since October 2019, the CDC estimates around 32 million Americans have gotten the flu. That’s one in every 10 Americans.