When Daniel Craig‘s last James Bond film finally opens in theaters, it’ll do so a full 18 months after it had been originally scheduled to launch.
First set to open in April 2020, then November 2020, then April 2021, No Time To Die is now officially moving to an October 2021 release. It will open October 8.
The latest (and hopefully last) shift comes as the coronavirus still rages in the U.S. and around the world. COVID vaccinations are also taking longer to roll out. This one-two punch has officially served as the knockout blow for Hollywood’s once hoped-for spring revival of movie theaters.
Released by MGM and Universal Pictures, the October 8 date is an odd one to choose. The studios chose it just one week after Sony announced that Morbius, Sony’s dark Spider-Verse vampire thriller starring Jared Leto, was moving from mid-March to October 8.
Even if theaters are mostly back open at that point, having two big franchises launch globally on the same day (outside of summer) makes no sense, especially given how the fall schedule still appears to have a good deal of flexibility.
Odder still: that double-bill will come just one week after the launch of Dune on October 1.
Don’t be shocked if one of the two is bumped to another date. Of the pair, I’d bet on Bond moving to November. The spy saga has had great success there, both in the month’s opening weekend as well as over Thanksgiving.
UPDATE: My bet was wrong. One day after Bond landed on October 8, Sony moved Morbius to January 21, 2022.
Click here to read my recent analysis of the possible ripple effects that are to come as more Spring 2021 films are likely delayed.