Update: MGM has dampened down speculation that No Time To Die could hit streaming channels first, telling Variety: "The film is not for sale. The film’s release has been postponed until April 2021 in order to preserve the theatrical experience for moviegoers." Variety says that according to insiders, MGM had been considering a sale to a streaming platform for some $600 million, but that no longer seems to be the case. Our original story is below.
The latest Bond flick, No Time To Die, has been moved around several times in the theater schedule to accommodate the current global pandemic, with April 2, 2021 the latest fixed date for a release. Now it appears it may be available to stream before that.
Film critic and screenwriter Drew McWeeny has tweeted that both Apple and Netflix are in talks to stream the new movie, the 25th in the series, and that it might actually make its debut on one of these streaming services.
McWeeny says the numbers for a deal he's hearing are "insane" – as you would expect for what is just about the biggest movie of this year (and next year). If Bond 25 dropped on a streaming service, you would expect the viewing numbers to be huge.
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There's no way of verifying the information at the moment – though McWeeny does have the necessary connections – but it would be a surprise if a streaming debut for No Time To Die wasn't at least being discussed at executive level. April is a long way off.
Licence to stream
With movie theaters still either shut or open in limited numbers due to coronavirus, the MGM studio that runs the Bond franchise may well decide to cash in its chips and put No Time To Die online while the cinema situation sorts itself out.
Indeed, Binged reports that MGM is under "tremendous pressure" to put the Bond movie on a streaming service before April. It's far from certain that theaters worldwide will be back open in the next six months.
You might remember the same sort of speculation around Christopher Nolan's Tenet, which finally opened in cinemas in August and September. In that case, the studio (Warner Bros.) resisted the temptation to stick the film on a streaming service first.
It might be a different story with MGM and No Time To Die, which will be Daniel Craig's final turn as the British super-spy. Let's hope we all get to see the much anticipated film as soon as possible, whether that's at home or in a (Covid-safe) movie theater.