Covid-19 has taken another high-profile casualty — this time it was none other than James Bond.
Due to the current epidemic, the new 007 film No Time To Die has cancelled its Beijing premiere as well as a promotional tour with talent in April, according to Variety, quoting Chinese media sources.
The film, which marks star Daniel Craig’s last turn as the iconic spy, is set to debut in North America on April 10, the report said.
Chinese cinemas and huge swathes of the world’s second largest economy have been shut since the country’s lunar new year holiday last month, the report said.
Even if theaters reopen in April in time for the film to screen, Chinese fans will be unable to catch Craig and the film’s other stars in the flesh, as they have been advised to stay out of the country at that time, the report said, quoting Chinese sources.
Covid-19, which first appeared in Hubei province, has now infected more than 71,000 people globally and killed 1,775, including five people outside of mainland China.
The releases for all Valentine’s Day films in the country and most of its other February titles have been cancelled, with no end in sight for cinema closures as citizens across the country remain in enforced self-quarantine, rarely venturing outside their homes, the report said.
China is one of the most important overseas markets for the Bond franchise, and was the highest grossing overseas territory for its last instalment, “Spectre,” other than the UK.
That film, also starring Craig, made US$881 million worldwide, US$84 million of which came from China.