The New James Bond Movie Has 'No Time' for Coronavirus Caution

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Daniel Craig returns as James Bond in "No Time to Die." (Eon Productions)

The Delta variant won’t stop James Bond. After a series of release delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Daniel Craig’s final 007 movie, “No Time to Die,” will release as planned on Oct. 8, 2021, in the United States and one week earlier on Sept. 30 in the rest of the world.

Things are still very shaky on the theatrical front as the coronavirus has made a late-summer comeback around the country. Plenty of people are avoiding dark and crowded movie theaters, so everyone involved is taking a risk by proceeding as if everything’s fine.

We’ve been seeing “No Time to Die” promotions for almost two years now, so MGM is having to give us a lot of new intel as the studio tries to ramp up the excitement again for a movie that originally was scheduled for release in April 2020.

Here’s the final U.S. trailer for the movie.

And they’ve also made a very different trailer for the international audiences.

The American trailer focuses more on the history of Craig’s 007 and how the new movie promises to wrap up the loose threads left hanging by the other Bond films he’s made. The international version focuses more on the stars surrounding Craig, including the British Ralph Fiennes (“Schindler’s List”), the French Léa Seydoux (“Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol”), the Cuban Ana de Armas (“Knives Out”), German Christoph Waltz (“Inglourious Basterds”) and the Egyptian-American Rami Malek (Best Actor Oscar winner for “Bohemian Rhapsody”).

We do get to see a classic Aston Martin DB5 outfitted with bulletproof glass and guns mounted in the headlight cavities. Also, since Bond quit the service at the end of “Spectre,” the movie needed a new 00 agent with a license to kill. Lashana Lynch (“Captain Marvel”) takes on that role and the trailers offer a glimpse of her piloting a plane whose folded wings spread in midair after she and Bond drop out of a bigger plane.

The new movie looks like the logical ending of a run that has focused more on Bond’s individual trauma and less on the mechanics of international espionage. Bond’s enemies all seem to have some kind of personal connection to his past, and we’re promised some kind of grand betrayal by Seydoux’s Madeleine Swann. Malek’s villain, Lyutsifer Safin, comes with an outrageous accent, a disfigured face and some kind of spiritual connection to Bond.

MGM also has made a 45-minute retrospective documentary called “Being James Bond” to celebrate Craig’s five-movie tenure in the role. The film will stream exclusively on the Apple TV app from Sept. 7 until Oct. 7.

It’s impressive that the Bond organization has kept the Cold War spy relevant for decades after he should have outlived his usefulness, but it’s a mystery as to how things move forward. Who will replace Craig as 007? Will “No Time to Die” be the kind of success that the series needs to survive, or will it be yet another business destroyed by the pandemic? We’ll find out the answer to the second question in a couple of months. Here’s hoping things cool down enough for the movie to have a chance to succeed or fail on its own merits.

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