No Time to Die, the 25th Bond film, is one of many blockbusters that have been delayed till next year, when — hopefully! — the United States finally gets a grip on the out-of-control pandemic that has rendered 2020 all but cancelled. As of this writing, it’s set to hit theaters in April of 2021, about a year after its original release date. And while its owners at MGM are holding steadfast on it getting a traditional theatrical release, a new report from Variety claims that wasn’t always the case.
According multiple insiders, MGM at some point explored other options. Other studios have made tens of millions selling their big films to streamers, including Coming 2 America, Greyhound, and Without Remorse. (Meanwhile Disney has dropped a number of their own films on their streaming service, in the case of Mulan, for a steep rental fee.) But MGM didn’t think small. When they allegedly approached Netflix and Apple, they were reportedly asking for a princely sum: about $600 million. Alas, that price tag, as per Variety, was deemed “too rich” for the two streamers.
When asked about the rumors, MGM had a curt reply. “We do not comment on rumors,” a spokesperson told Variety. “The film is not for sale. The film’s release has been postponed until April 2021 in order to preserve the theatrical experience for moviegoers.”
MGM has reportedly lost somewhere between $30 million and $50 million due to the delays, which found it first moving to November then six months after that. The budget for the film, set to be Daniel Craig’s fifth and final spin as 007, is $250 million, so either they’re going to have to wait for moviegoing to become safe again — surely they hope to avoid the grim fate that greeted Tenet in the U.S. — or find another way to make back its dough, plus profits.