Daniel Craig has defended James Bond producers’ decision to delay the premiere of the new film – No Time To Die – until April next year.
The actor, 52, who plays the title role in the franchise, is the most high profile star from the film to speak out on the move, which was announced on Saturday.
The decision was followed by the news that Cineworld is set to temporarily close its theatres in the UK and Ireland as well as its 536 U.S. Regal cinemas, while Odeon announced around a quarter of its 120 venues will move to a weekend-only model.
Opinion: Daniel Craig has defended James Bond producers’ decision to delay the premiere of the new film – No Time To Die – until April next year
In recent weeks dozens of blockbusters have announced that they plan to push back their launch until next year or even 2022, amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
Speaking on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Craig said: ‘This thing is just bigger than all of us.
‘We want to release the movie at the same time all around the world and this isn’t the right time. So fingers cross April 2 is going to be our date.’
Although Craig suggested the plan was due to an apparent worldwide release, James Bond films have never been premiered at the same time.
‘This isn’t the time!’: The actor, 53, who plays the title role in the franchise, is the most high profile star from the film to speak out on the move, which was announced on Saturday
The films are typically shown in the UK a few weeks before the US opening, for example Spectre opened on October 26 in Britain and November 6 in America.
Before the move was announced, No Time to Die was slated for a November 12 release in the UK and November 20 in the U.S.
MGM Studios, Universal Pictures and producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli said in a statement on Friday that the film is now set for release on April 2 ‘in order to be seen by a worldwide theatrical audience.’
‘We understand the delay will be disappointing to our fans but we now look forward to sharing ‘No Time To Die’ next year,’ the companies and producers said.
Suffering: The decision was followed by the news that Cineworld is set to temporarily close its theatres in the UK and Ireland as well as its 536 U.S. Regal cinemas, while Odeon announced around a quarter of its 120 venues will move to a weekend-only model
Elsewhere during the interview with Fallon, Craig offered his advice on what you need to be the next bond, as rumours continue to swirl over who will fill his shoes when he departs after the next Bond film.
Tom Hardy, Richard Madden, James Norton and Henry Cavill are all among the front runners to take over the iconic role in the future.
Craig has portrayed Agent 007 in five films, starting with 2006’s Casino Royale, and his last outing will be in the forthcoming No Time To Die.
When asked by the late night host, ‘What advice would you give the next Bond?’ Craig replied much in the same fashion as one RuPaul Charles:
Short and to the point: Daniel Craig guested on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on Monday, and shared his advice for whomever succeeds him as James Bond
Those killer blues: Daniel started off in the role in 2006’s Casino Royale
‘Don’t f**k it up. It’s a beautiful, amazing thing.
‘I don’t know what else to say, really,’ he continued. ‘Don’t f**k it up! Leave it better than when you found it.
‘Is that alright? Can I say that? Probably not!’ he added.
‘You’re allowed to do whatever you want. You’re James Bond!’ Fallon assured him.
Bond was supposed to hit theatres in spring this year, but like most major films it was delayed due to the outbreak of Covid-19.
Similar to other blockbusters including Wonder Woman 1984, the newest Bond has been shuffled around on the release calendar a number of times.
Delayed: On Monday, The Batman joined the long list of films being pushed, with studio Warner Bros. rescheduling the DC film all the way into 2022
Change of plan: Disney announced last month that its live-action version of Mulan would instead debut on its streaming service Disney Plus, rather than a theatrical release
On Monday, The Batman joined the long list of films being pushed, with studio Warner Bros. rescheduling the DC film all the way into 2022.
The Batman had been scheduled to premiere on October 1, 2021, but has now been put back until March 2, 2022.
Warner Bros. has also delayed the releases of several other movies including The Flash and Shazam 2.
The studio is now moving the Denis Villeneuve remake of sci-fi classic Dune starring Timothee Chalamet and Zendaya to October 1, 2021, to fill the slot left vacant by The Batman.
It is also moving up the release of Matrix 4, starring Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss, from April 2022 to December 22, 2021.
Coming soon: Sony Pictures announced Monday that the Milla Jovovich fantasy thriller Monster Hunter is being moved forward four months from April 23, 2021, to this December 30
Last week, the release of the highly-anticipated Fast and Furious sequel F9 was also delayed again, this time until May 28, 2021.
Disney announced last month that its live-action version of Mulan would instead debut on its streaming service Disney Plus, rather than a theatrical release.
Meanwhile, Sony Pictures announced Monday that the Milla Jovovich fantasy thriller Monster Hunter is being moved forward four months from April 23, 2021, to this December 30.
The film is written and directed by Jovovich’s husband Paul W. S. Anderson and is loosely based on the Capcom video game series of the same name.
Black Widow, Cruella, Thor: Love and Thunder and Top Gun: Maverick have all been pushed to 2021 release date after worried bosses feared rising coronavirus cases would keep fans out of cinemas.
As big-money movies continue to postpone their release dates, the UK’s biggest cinema chains have recently announced the closure of more than 150 sites, laying bare the toll of the coronavirus pandemic.
Cineworld confirmed plans to temporarily close all 127 of its sites across the UK, affecting up to 5,500 employees on Tuesday.
Some 45,000 staff will be affected as the cinema giant mothballs all 600 of its theatres on both sides of the Atlantic.
Just hours later, Odeon announced that from Friday, around a quarter of its 120 venues will move to a weekend-only model.
Temporary closure: Cineworld today confirmed it was considering the temporary closure of its UK cinemas, as well as its US cinemas, but that ‘a final decision has not yet been reached’
Meanwhile the boss of Vue said it was ‘being forced to look at all options’ to survive, including temporary closures, adding chains were dealt a ‘body blow’ by the delay of Bond’s latest outing.
The boss of Cineworld said the company would have been ‘like a grocery shop with no food’ after film studios delayed several major releases.
The chain will close 127 Cineworld and Picturehouse sites in the UK this Thursday – sending shares down by as much as 57% as markets opened in London.
Boris Johnson acknowledged there would be ‘tough times ahead’ in the jobs market following the announcement but encouraged people to go to the movies.
The chief executive of Vue Cinemas has said the company will try to avoid lay-offs but is being forced to look at all options, after rival Cineworld closed all its theatres in the UK and US.
Tim Richards said cinema chains were dealt a ‘body blow’ by the delay of the next James Bond film, No Time To Die, until April next year.
‘We are struggling, we’re absolutely struggling, we came into this after a record-breaking year, both as an industry and as a company … we were well placed to ride this through, but this was unexpected,’ he told Sky News on Monday.
He said that while studios are under pressure, they are taking decisions by focusing on the US, rather than cinemas in Europe and Asia.
‘Everybody is struggling,’ he said.
‘My one frustration is I think the studios are guilty of being a little bit US-centric and seeing what’s happening in New York and LA, and not really looking globally.’
Asked if Vue would shut any sites, he said: ‘We’re being forced right now to look at options.’
FROM DUNE TO DEATH ON THE NILE: THE CURRENT 2020 FILM RELEASE SCHEDULE
Films currently showing at the cinema include Tenet, Bill and Ted Face the Music, After We Collided and Cats and Dogs: Paws Unite!
Late last week James Bond studios MGM and Universal delayed the release of No Time To Die for a second time.
The release of Christopher Nolan’s action-thriller Tenet in August offered the industry a needed boost, making more than £5 million at the UK and Ireland box office in its opening weekend.
However, Disney decided at short notice to release its live-action Mulan film – which had been expected to draw family audiences back to movie theatres – on its Disney+ streaming platform instead.
Another of this year’s hotly anticipated releases, Wonder Woman 1984, has also had its release date pushed back. The superhero sequel, starring Gal Gadot, had been set to arrive in the US on October 2 but now has a December release date.
Here is the current release schedule for 2020, which may be subject to change:
Another of this year’s hotly anticipated releases, Wonder Woman 1984, has also had its release date pushed back
The Trial Of The Chicago 7 (Launches on Netflix)
Rebecca (Released in cinemas before Netflix release on October 21)
Over The Moon (Released in cinemas before Netflix release on October 21)
The Witches (Launches on HBO Max)
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (Netflix)
Free Guy (20th Century Studios)
Peter Rabbit 2 (Columbia Pictures)
Coming 2 America (Paramount)
Death On The Nile (20th Century Studios)
Dune (Warner Bros)
Wonder Woman 1984 (Warner Bros)