At a time when there is already very little to smile about, movie fans were dealt another disappointment last week with the news that No Time to Die has had its release date pushed back for a third time. Daniel Craig’s swan song is turning into the longest goodbye since Philip Marlowe. The official 007 website has announced that the movie is now scheduled to premiere globally in October, some 18 month later than originally planned.
The delay comes as yet another blow to a cinema industry that is already beleaguered, both here in Canada and across the world. There has also been a significant ripple effect. No sooner had the announcement hit the press than Sony made a similar move with five forthcoming releases, including Ghostbusters: Afterlife and Peter Rabbit 2, while Universal pushed back Bios, starring Tom Hanks, from April to November.
What can we do instead?
Disappointed Bond fans have already had a five-year wait since Spectre hit the screens in 2015. There is now the real possibility that this gap will be even longer than the six–year hiatus between License to Kill and GoldenEye. How can we occupy a further nine month of waiting?
- Revisit the back catalogue – if you don’t already have the DVDs in your collection, there are a few options for streaming 007 movies. Netflix users can stream Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace as part of their membership package, while Amazon has the entire back catalogue available to rent.
- Brush up on your baccarat – Bond and casino games go hand in hand. Unfortunately, most casinos are under the same restrictions as cinemas right now, but sites such as comeon.com has online versions of Bond favourites like baccarat, blackjack and roulette, where you can even play in a live setting with a real dealer via webcam.
- Tune up the Aston – recent months have given us all a chance to catch up with hobbies. Classic car enthusiasts have been enjoying the opportunity to spend time in the garage wielding the spanners. We don’t all have the skills or the budget for a DB5, but there are all sorts of projects just waiting to be snapped up on platforms like eBay.
Straight to streaming?
The last two Bond films collectively grossed more than $2 billion at the box office, so it seems inconceivable that No Time to Die will forego the cinematic release entirely. However, a straight-to-streaming release is being touted as a genuine possibility. It’s already happened with some major Disney titles like Mulan and Soul, while The Dig, a historical drama starring Ralph Fiennes, had its theatrical release pulled and went straight to Netflix.
Fiennes, of course, will also be seen reprising his role as M in No Time to Die. When asked in a BBC interview whether the Bond release could go down the same role, he replied: “We don’t know, there may be financial reasons or imperatives that mean they have to put it on a streaming system.”
There are fewer cinematic stories bigger than a new Bond film. If this really does happen, it will surely cast the greatest doubt yet over the future of cinema.