MGM and Universal decided they won’t release No Time to Die. After already rescheduling the 25th James Bond film from April 2 until November 25 in the United States, the studios announced they will postpone it yet again – until April 2, 2021. This caused an immediate and dramatic chain reaction.
Bond’s latest release date would have pitched it directly opposite another Universal movie – F9. Not the keyboard key, but the ninth installment in the Fast and Furious franchise. Recognizing no point in causing a needless macho match between the debonair British secret agent (played by James Craig) and the American blue-collar hero Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), Universal decided to postpone F9 as well until May 22, 2021. Back in March, when World Health Organization first warned about the global pandemic, the studio immediately postponed F9 for an entire year, pushing it from April 19, 2019, to April 10, 2020.
And yet, as it turns out, even that wasn’t enough.
These two decisions, in turn, caused Cineworld – the owner of the US Regal Cinemas – to once again close its movie theaters in the US, UK, and Ireland. While this measure might only be temporary, it nevertheless means thousands of recently re-hired cinema workers are going to lose their jobs again. Movie theater owners hoped that Tenet would cause the return of big-budget films. Instead, faced with the raging pandemic and wary audiences, studios like Disney gave up, rescheduling releases yet again. Does that mean we’ll get a lot more movies next year? At this point, nobody knows.