Amidst growing concerns around the global spread of the coronavirus, the largest James Bond fan site has published an open letter urging EON, MGM, and Universal to postpone the release of No Time To Die until the summer. While the letter’s authors are die-hard aficionados who have been eagerly anticipating the arrival of the 25th film, which has experienced several delays in its production, they also know that “it’s just a movie,” and the safety and well-being of audiences should be paramount.
As cases of the coronavirus experience an uptick in both the U.S. and the U.K., the MI6-HQ open letter make a compelling argument that it’s not worth the risk to continue the current release schedule for No Time To Die:
With a month to go before ‘No Time To Die’ opens worldwide, community spread of the virus is likely to be peaking in the United States. Today, Washington declared a state of emergency. There is a significant chance that cinemas will be closed, or their attendance severely reduced, by early April. Even if there are no legal restrictions on cinemas being open, to quote M in Skyfall, “how safe do you feel?”
Publicity tours for 007 in China, South Korea, and Japan have already been canceled. The release in Hong Kong was pushed to April 30th. These are sensible actions that should be applauded.
That brings us to the world premiere for No Time To Die set for March 31st in London. Hundreds of fans and celebrities from around the world will be flying to the UK to attend. The Royal Albert Hall capacity is above the 5,000 limit that affected countries are banning for public gatherings. Just one person, who may not even show symptoms, could infect the rest of the audience. This is not the type of publicity anyone wants.
If No Time To Die is delayed, it would join a growing number of public events and spaces that are shut down across the globe including the Louvre. In the U.S., not even Wrestlemania 36 is safe as a state of emergency in Florida has prompted internal talks at WWE about canceling the event in Tampa.