James Bond fans are calling on Eon, MGM, and Universal to delay the upcoming release of “No Time to Die” because of the worldwide coronavirus outbreak. An open letter to the studios addressing the matter was published March 2 on the MI6-HQ website, the biggest Bond fan blog in the world. The website is behind several books on the Bond film franchise and is the publisher of the official “MI6 Confidential” magazine. The letter calls for the studios to “put public health above marketing release schedules” and push the release of “No Time to Die” until summer 2020.
“After enduring three delays in production already, it is by no means easy to say this: the release of ‘No Time To Die’ should be postponed,” the letter states. “With the Coronavirus reaching pandemic status, it is time to put public health above marketing release schedules and the cost of canceling publicity events…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 four 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” is opening in the U.S. via United Artists Releasing, a joint venture between MGM and Annapurna. Universal Pictures is handling the international release of the latest Bond film. The “No Time to Die” China premiere was canceled last month as the country shut down movie theaters to help combat the coronavirus outbreak. The letter also mentions several publicity stops on the “No Time to Die” campaign have been pulled because of the virus, including China, South Korea, and Japan. The letter cites a potential danger in holding a London world premiere for the film that will be attended by thousands of people, including cast and crew, press, and fans.
“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,” the letter states. “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.”
“No Time to Die” remains on course to open in the U.S. on April 8. Read the full MI6-HQ letter here.