MGM and Eon Productions’ No Time to Die has come to represent something greater than just simply Daniel Craig’s final turn in the tuxedo.
Say what you will about Tenet, but No Time to Die‘s long path and long wait to the big screen serves as a symbol of the survival of theatrical releases; a rising phoenix for that sector of the motion picture industry which has not only been encroached upon by streaming, but saw movies theaters completely go dark during the pandemic in 2020 though the onset of 2021.
Bond 25 was the first major studio movie to have the foresight to sidestep the pandemic, as Deadline first told you; a distribution maneuver which many rival studios feared attempting back in March 2020, and even denied they’d emulate before exhibition around the globe was forced to closed. No Time to Die is one of some hundred-plus titles that opted to stay true to a theatrical release, waiting for movie theaters to come back, refusing to be exploited as merely in-home entertainment for any streamer that tried to get their paws on the pic. Bond may have survived the Cold War, but No Time to Die thwarted off streaming offers and a plan that would have crunched its theatrical window to a matter of days before debuting on PVOD. As the second-highest grossing movie of the pandemic at $774M WW, no one has any regrets over how Bond’s hand was played.
“We believe in the power of the theatrical release and the cinema, and that’s what we’ve always done, and that’s what Bond has always done, and we cannot agree to go PVOD, not only just for the health of our brand and our movie but we can’t do that to the cinema industry,” No Time to Die and Bond franchise producer Barbara Broccoli told us about having Bond 25 stick to its theatrical guns, “We can’t do it to the exhibitors.”
When MGM and United Artists Releasing decided that their first release date move during Covid to Thanksgiving 2020 was still too soon with LA and NYC cinemas still closed, even No. 2 global exhibitor Cineworld (Regal in the U.S.) decided that without Bond, the world was not enough, and opted to pause its operations during Q4 2020 to Q1 2021 until the box office capitals returned.
On a very special Crew Call podcast, we speak with Bond architects Broccoli and producer Michael G. Wilson about several topics.
And, yes, Amazon, even though you don’t have MGM under your domain yet, Bond will remain theatrical going forward according to the producers (“That’s what we’ve been told; so far, so good,” Wilson tells us).
We also speak with Broccoli and Wilson about how the whole idea to kill Bond even came up (“The conversation began when we opened Casino Royale and Daniel (Craig) and I were in Berlin…” begins Broccoli); the high bar now set for the franchise following the star’s exit (“We’ve faced challenges before,” she adds), the movie’s alternative ending, advice from Papa Albert R. “Cubby” Broccoli which still rings true today (“Whenever you’re in trouble go back to Fleming” and “Don’t let temporary people make permanent decisions”), the notion of 007 spinoffs, future female director, and of course, Idris Elba picking up the gun. (Teases Broccoli, “We know Idris…he’s a magnificent actor.”).
Bond turns 60 this year, and to kick it off this weekend, No Time to Die returns to Imax cinemas this Friday.
Must Read Stories
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.