COVID stalls Bond, againSunday, January 24, 2021
BY BRIAN BONITTO
EVEN super spy James Bond is grappling with the negative effects of COVID-19. For the third time, the latest in the franchise – No Time to Die – has been postponed.
Scheduled for an April 2, 2021 opening date, the film's premiere is now pushed back to October 8. It was initially slated for an April 2020 début.
The move may not come as a surprise as America is wilting under the pandemic. As of yesterday, more than 24.9 million people tested positive and more than 414,000 deaths have been recorded.
With a price tag of US$200 million, No Time to Die is the 25th instalment in the James Bond franchise and is produced by MGM and EON. It will be released internationally by Universal.
Directed by American Cary Joji Fukunaga, the film stars Daniel Craig in his final role as Agent 007. Several scenes were shot on location in Portland and Kingston; James Bond and Jamaica have an inextricable link.
Bond creator, British author Ian Fleming, resided at the GoldenEye property in St Mary for many years. GoldenEye is also the name of the 17th film in the series and was released in 1995. Pierce Brosnan starred in that role as the super sleuth.
No Time to Die's production launch took place at GoldenEye in April of 2019.
The first Bond film Dr No (1962), and Live And Let Die (1973) were shot mainly in Kingston.
Jamaican actors including (the late) Reggie Carter, Marguerite Lewars, and Grace Jones have had screen time in Bond flicks.
Two of the English actresses in No Time to Die have Jamaican heritage. Naomie Harris — who is appearing in her third Bond movie — has a Jamaican mother while newcomer Lashana Lynch's parents are Jamaican.
Other members of the cast are Rami Malek, Ralph Fiennes, Rory Kinnear, Léa Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, Jeffrey Wright, Ana de Armas, Dali Benssalah, David Dencik, and Billy Magnussen.
Craig suffered a mishap while filming in Jamaica.
According to UK tabloid The Sun, he fell during a running scene.
“Daniel was suited and booted for one of the last scenes in Jamaica. He was sprinting during filming when he slipped and fell quite awkwardly,” The Sun quoted a spokesperson as saying.
“He was in quite a lot of pain and was complaining about his ankle. As you'd expect, he was also pretty angry that it had happened. He threw his suit jacket on the ground in sheer frustration,” it continued.
Craig was flown to the United States for treatment.
This injury is one of several sustained by the English actor. He knocked two teeth out in 2006 while filming Casino Royale.
He also ripped a muscle in his shoulder, bruised his ribs and sliced his finger while shooting for Quantum of Solace (2008) and halted filming for Spectre (2015) for two weeks so that he could have surgery.
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