Having been delayed on several occasions now due to the ongoing global health crisis, there’s been a lot of speculation that Daniel Craig’s fifth and final Bond outing No Time to Die could become the latest big budget blockbuster to forego a theatrical release in favour of going direct to Premium VOD or streaming.
That talk intensified this past week when rumours began circulating that discussions were taking place with several potential suitors, and now Deadline has confirmed that MGM did indeed shop the project to Apple, Netflix and Amazon this past September. However, it seems the streamers all balked at the price, with MGM reportedly looking for around $600 million for a one-year license.
According to Deadline’s report, MGM held “exploratory talks” with the streaming giants, although none were willing to put up more than half of the asking price, while a potential PVOD release similar to Disney’s Mulan was also considered. However, franchise producer Barbara Broccoli is said to have flatly nixed the idea, while any potential deal would also have been complicated by the fact that Universal holds the international distribution and ancillary rights to the film.
No Time To Die has a budget in the region of $250 million before advertising, and the various release date delays are said to have cost MGM a further $50 million. A $600 million streaming deal would have saved on additional promotional costs and delivered a healthy return on the movie, likely on par with a billion dollar plus theatrical gross once the cinemas took their cut.
At present, No Time To Die is scheduled for release on April 2nd 2021, although there remains doubt as to whether it will stick to the date or find itself pushed back yet again.
Bond has left active service and is enjoying a tranquil life in Jamaica. His peace is short-lived when his old friend Felix Leiter from the CIA turns up asking for help. The mission to rescue a kidnapped scientist turns out to be far more treacherous than expected, leading Bond onto the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology.
No Time To Die stars Daniel Craig (James Bond), Ralph Fiennes (M), Naomie Harris (Moneypenny), Rory Kinnear (Tanner), Léa Seydoux (Madeleine Swann), Ben Whishaw (Q), Jeffrey Wright (Felix Leiter) and Christoph Waltz (Blofeld), while new additions include Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody), Ana de Armas (Knives Out), Lashana Lynch (Captain Marvel), Billy Magnussen (Velvet Buzzsaw), Dali Benssalah (A Faithful Man) and David Dencik (Top of the Lake).