No Time to Die: James Bond franchise calls off China tour due to coronavirus concerns

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on February 17, 2020

Daniel Craig and the cast will not attend the Beijing screening of the film, nor will they undertake a publicity tour in China

The makers of No Time to Die, the next in the famous James Bond franchise, have called off their upcoming China tour due to rising concerns related to the coronavirus epidemic, The Times reported on Sunday.

Multiple publicity events for the film’s premiere had been planned in Beijing and other major cities of China in April, which have now been “called off,” the report said. The decision is in light of the health risks posed by the COVID-19 outbreak, which has claimed over 1,700 lives in China alone.

Deadline reported that Daniel Craig and the cast will not attend the Beijing screening of the film, apart from skipping the publicity tour of China. The reasons cited by the makers is “ uncertainty surrounding the evolution of the epidemic,” the report said.

The decision may take a toll on the overall success of the film as China is the world’s second-largest box office market. The makers had expected the film to become the highest-grossing film in the James Bond franchise, with expected revenues of more than $1 billion worldwide, according to a New York Post report.

According to a Daily Mail report, China, which contributed more than $6 billion to the film industry in 2019, has shut down more than 70,000 cinemas across the country in light of the epidemic.

Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, the film stars Daniel Craig alongside Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris and Léa Seydoux. The film also stars Rami Malek as the next Bond villain, Ana de Armas and Christoph Waltz.

The film will be Craig’s last stint as the iconic agent 007.

The movie is slated for release in India on April 3, post its UK release according to media reports.

Apart from No Time to Die, other Hollywood films including 1917, Doolittle, Little Women and Jojo Rabbit, have postponed their China release due to the outbreak, according to The Times report.

Published on February 17, 2020

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