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The Real Reason No Time To Die Was Just Delayed For 8 Months

Have a seat, Mr. Bond.

The producers of No Time to Die, which will mark star Daniel Craig's final outing as James Bond, have announced via Twitter that the film's release has been pushed back nearly 8 months to November 25, 2020 (via Entertainment Weekly). The move comes in the wake of am open letter from fans calling for the flick to be postponed due to the potential threat posed by the fast-spreading COVID-19 coronavirus, which as of this writing has landed on every continent except Antarctica.

The open letter, succinctly titled "No Time for Indecision," was penned by James Page and David Leigh, founders of the Bond fan magazine MI6 Confidential. In it, the pair didn't mince words, pointing out that not only would sticking to the announced release date of April 10 almost certainly hurt the flick's box office, it might also worsen the coronavirus outbreak.

"Just one person, who may not even show symptoms, could infect the rest of the audience," they wrote. "It's just a movie. The health and well-being of fans around the world, and their families, is more important. We have all waited over four years for this film. Another few months will not damage the quality of the film and only help the box office for Daniel Craig's final hurrah" (via BBC).

The film's producers concurred. The Twitter missive announcing the delay, posted to the official James Bond account, read, "After careful consideration and thorough evaluation of the global theatrical marketplace, the release of NO TIME TO DIE will be postponed until November 2020. The film will be released in the U.K. on Nov. 12, 2020 with worldwide release dates to follow, including the U.S. launch on Nov. 25, 2020."

No Time to Die's delay is the latest of many

This is not the first time No Time to Die has had its release date delayed; it isn't even the second. The movie has had somewhat of a troubled production history, largely due to issues with the script and the departure of original director Danny Boyle (28 Days Later) over those pesky creative differences.

The 25th James Bond outing was originally slated for release in November 2019, with that date being pushed back to February 2020 after the hiring of new helmer Cary Joji Fukunaga (True Detective). Screenwriters Neal Purvis and Robert Wade (whose initial draft of the script had been scrapped after Boyle's hiring) were brought back on, and with an assist from Fukunaga, they completed a new draft of the screenplay.

This draft then underwent more rewrites, with Paul Haggis (Crash), Scott Z. Burns (The Bourne Ultimatum), and Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag) all taking passes. The surgery on the screenplay caused the flick to once again see its release delayed until April 10, 2020, which is where it was sitting before the coronavirus outbreak necessitated one more change of plans.

With any good fortune, this will be the last time that Craig's swan song as Mr. Bond sees its release postponed. We must say, however, that not only was this particular delay warranted, it was welcome — and a rare example of a major studio listening to the pleas of fans, and taking action. Like the open letter said, No Time to Die is only a movie — and not only will the delay make its eventual premiere all the more sweet for fans, it could potentially save a lot of lives. Well done, 007.