In March last year, Daniel Craig’s final outing as James Bond with “No Time To Die” became the first major studio tentpole film to be delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic – just weeks out from its planned April 2020 release.
The film was pushed an unprecedented seven months at the time, shocking everyone. It also set off a chain reaction of multiple film delays with the Bond film itself pushed back several times over the past eighteen months.
A lackluster Summer box-office and the sharp rise of the Delta variant of COVID-19 has seen this Fall’s film release calendar seemingly in jeopardy with some, such as “Clifford the Big Red Dog” and “Venom: Let There Be Carnage,” already undergoing delays while others like “Hotel Transylvania 4: Transformania” have been sold off.
Now, THR reports that the option of delaying the new Bond film again might not be on the table due to the marketing costs that keep coming with each and every date change. The trade indicates MGM apparently doesn’t have the budget to keep delaying the film.
The studio also does not have a streaming platform of its own as an alternative – Amazon recently announced a deal to purchase the studio, but that is long way from being closed and certainly won’t be ready in time for release. Producer Barbara Broccoli and EON Productions have also made it quite clear a streaming release is not happening.
So it seems MGM is reportedly stuck with its October 8th release date for the film which according to MI6 HQ has a production budget of around $250 million. That doesn’t include marketing spend which was already well into the tens of millions even before the first delay early last year and is racking up both interest charges and new costs with each delay.
Craig, Broccoli and producer Michael G. Wilson also all have generous backend and profit participation deals which limits how much money MGM is able to make on the movie. One way or another, Bond is coming – the question is, will there be enough people willing to risk seeing it?