After an 18-month delay, the James Bond film No Time to Die will finally begin filming this week — a relief to its stars and movie theater managers. Daniel Craig returns for his last fifth vacation as a British secret agent known for his love of fast cars and cool gadgets.
The film was originally slated to launch in April 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic closed movie theaters and imposed restrictions on the number of spectators.
“These last 18 months have been a terrible time for everyone,” Craig told Reuters. “The great thing is, we’re here, we’ve got to this point and we can put it into the movie now and … from now on it’s just gravy.”
With an estimated production of USD 200 million, the 25th Bond film No Time to Die has been delayed three times since the outbreak began. However, its producers decided to release it in movie theaters.
“It’s designed, filmed and produced to be in movie theaters, for a cinematic feel,” producer Michael G. Wilson told the movie’s official podcast. “So we’re so excited now, it’s finally coming out, we’re all ready to go.”
Bond Movies is one of Hollywood’s most valuable franchises, with the last two, 2015 Specter and 2012’s Skyfall, grossing over $ 880 million and over $ 1 billion worldwide, respectively.
On Monday, London-based film operator Odeon No Time to Die said it was “set to be the biggest opening at ODEON Cinemas since the summer of 2019”, and it has sold over 175,000 tickets.
UK movie theaters reopen in May with social distance action. As these relaxed, admissions nationwide increased from 3.5 million in May to 10.4 million in August, according to the UK Film Association.
“So we’m currently tracking 65 to 70% of the so – called regular entries in late summer and early autumn,” Phil Clap, chief executive of the UK Film Association, told Reuters.
“Bond hopes to regain at least those admissions to the levels we see in 2019 and hopefully surpass them,” he said, adding that other upcoming Ghostbusters: Afterlife and West Side Story are also important.
On Tuesday, Craig will co-star Lashna Lynch, Lee Sedoux and Rami Malek at the film’s world premiere in London. “I’m really glad it finally came out … I’re so happy to be reunited with everyone (one of us) who worked on this film, because I was scared to be in person with them, which was actually the whole promotion,” Sedoux said.
“Even for Daniel it’s his last bond, so it’s a pleasure to have everyone together.”