It is now being reported that an imminent delay of Daniel Craig's final outing as iconic spy James Bond, No Time to Die, will cause another cascade of delays. Much like last year, should MGM once again push No Time to Die further back into the latter part of 2021, this will lead to a whole host of tentpole movies following suit.
"I think everything substantive between now and Top Gun: Maverick in early July will move. It's a mess," predicts one veteran studio executive.
It is not yet known whether MGM will movie the upcoming adventures of 007 to October, November, or December, but any one of them will very likely cause another release date delay landslide. The group of high-profile releases in question includes the likes of Paramount's A Quiet Place Part II (currently scheduled for April 23), Marvel's Black Widow (currently scheduled for May 7) and Universal's ninth installment in the Fast and Furious franchise, F9 (currently scheduled for May 28), all of which were supposed to hit big screens everywhere back in 2020.
A shift in the release of No Time to Die is also likely to effect Sony's Venom: Let There Be Carnage, which is currently scheduled to hit theaters on June 25, as well as Paramount's Top Gun: Maverick (currently scheduled for July 2) and Universal's Minions: The Rise of Gru (currently scheduled for July 2). Some movies have already bolted, unable to wait for the cue from James Bond, with the likes of Sony's Morbius recently fleeing from March to October.
"Lest anyone thought that the transition from 2020 into 2021 would magically fix the issues that perplexed the industry for the past almost 12 months, the reality is that the many of the very same market forces are still in play and will continue to inform the strategic decisions of studios and creatives alike," says Paul Dergarabedian of Comscore. "That said, there is hope for a recovery for the theatrical movie biz on the horizon, but of course that future is in constant flux."
Eric Handler of MKM Partners paints a grim picture of the first few months saying, "The way I'm thinking about the year, the first quarter will be down as much as 90 percent."
Amid the ongoing global situation, many have studios have begun to pivot towards releasing movies via streaming that traditionally would have stuck with the norm of the theatrical window. While the move towards digital releases for tentpole movies has been embraced by some, with Warner Bros taking the controversial decision to release their entire 2021 slate to HBO Max and theaters simultaneously, insiders have revealed that other studios are adamant that the likes of No Time to Die and F9 must be released solely in theaters.
For now, No Time to Die is scheduled for release April 2nd, 2021. Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga from a screenplay by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Fukunaga, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge, No Time to Die picks up five years after the capture of Ernst Stavro Blofeld, with James Bond having now left active service. He is approached by Felix Leiter, his friend, and a CIA officer, who enlists his help in the search for Valdo Obruchev, a missing scientist. When it becomes apparent that Obruchev was abducted, James Bond must confront a danger the likes of which the world has never seen before. This comes to us courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter.