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Release of new James Bond film postponed until November

The global release of the new James Bond film “No Time to Die” will be postponed from April until November, the producers said on Wednesday (March 4), amid an outbreak of coronavirus.

“The film will be released in the U.K. on November 12, 2020 with worldwide release dates to follow, including the US launch on November 25, 2020,” a posting on the official James Bond Twitter account said. It made no specific reference to the virus.

Earlier fans raised concerns about the timing of the release of the new film, with two James Bond fan sites writing to the studios behind the film to ask for its release to be delayed over worries that cinemas could be closed in April.

The founders of MI6 Confidential and The James Bond Dossier posted an open letter which also said the world premiere for No Time to Die, planned for March 31 in London with 5,000 attendees, could be problematic.

On Tuesday (March 3) Disney axed a launch event planned to promote the European launch of its channel Disney+, the eagerly-awaited competitor to Netflix and Amazon Prime, a competitor to Netflix and Amazon Prime which will show “The Mandalorian”, the latest in the “Star Wars” movie and TV franchise.

Celebrities and creative bosses had planned to be on the red carpet in London on Thursday (March 5) to promote the channel, but Disney said the event would no longer go ahead. It becomes available to subscribers in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain on 24 March.

Disney cited increasing concerns at the prospect of traveling internationally at this time.

Forthcoming big gatherings of people in other parts of the world are also causing concern.

The annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, USA wrote on its website on March 2 that it will go ahead. It said: “SXSW is working closely on a daily basis with local, state, and federal agencies to plan for a safe event… The 2020 event is proceeding with safety as a top priority.”

According to US industry trade publications, several large companies have pulled out of the festival including Twitter, Facebook and Amazon.

Meanwhile, international music artists Stormzy and BTS have canceled shows in Asia.

Britain warned on Tuesday that coronavirus could mean more than a fifth of employees could be off work at the peak of the outbreak. There are 51 cases in the country so far.

(Production: Sarah Young, Mindy Burrows)

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