James Bond film No Time To Die delayed by seven months due to coronavirus

James Bond film No Time To Die delayed by coronavirus

The release date for new James Bond film No Time To Die has been pushed back seven months due to coronavirus.

The film, which will feature Daniel Craig in his final outing as 007, was set to be released in UK cinemas from 2 April this year.

Earlier this week, fans had called for the release to be delayed as coronavirus spreads, with fan site MI6, which claims to be the world's most visited unofficial Bond website, saying public health should be put "above marketing release schedules".

Now, in a statement on the official James Bond Twitter account, it has been announced the film will be pushed back to November.

"MGM, Universal and Bond producers, Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, announced today that after careful consideration and thorough evaluation of the global theatrical marketplace, the release of NO TIME TO DIE will be postponed until November 2020," the tweet said.

Stars had been expected to turn out for the world premiere of the film at the Royal Albert Hall in London on 31 March.

It will now be released in the UK on 12 November and the US on 25 November.

Bond fans have already endured an extended wait for the latest 007 film, with the release date pushed back after director Danny Boyle quit in 2018 .

After Boyle was replaced by Cary Joji Fukunaga, Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge was also drafted in to improve the film's script.

No Time To Die stars Lea Seydoux, Rami Malek, Lashana Lynch and Ana De Armas, alongside Craig, and finds Bond after he has left active service and is enjoying a tranquil life in Jamaica - until his old CIA friend Felix Leiter, played by Jeffrey Wright, turns up asking for help.

The Bond franchise is one of the entertainment world's most lucrative, with 2015's Spectre bringing in $880m (about £685m) at the box office worldwide, while Skyfall in 2012 grossed more than $1bn (about £779m) globally.

The delay comes as the UK experienced its biggest daily increase in coronavirus cases on Wednesday, with 87 people confirmed to have the virus.

More than 93,000 people have now been diagnosed worldwide, and more than 3,100 have died - the vast majority in China.

The Department of Health said three of the new cases in England contracted the virus in the UK, raising fears that community transmission may now be taking hold.

No Time To Die's release is the latest in a string of major events being cancelled or postponed around the world.

:: Listen to the Daily podcast on Apple Podcasts , Google Podcasts , Spotify , Spreaker

Stormzy, Mariah Carey, Avril Lavigne and Green Day are among several music stars who have called off gigs .

Earlier on Wednesday, it was also announced that the London Book Fair, due to take place from 10-12 March, had been called off.

If the UK follows in the footsteps of other countries, large gatherings of people could be banned in the fight to contain the disease.

France has banned all public gatherings with more than 5,000 people in a confined space, while Switzerland has banned events of more than 1,000 people.