The Hollywood studio behind James Bond has said that its latest instalment of the franchise ‘No Time To Die’ is “not for sale” to streaming giants.
It comes amid reports that Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) held talks with Apple TV and Netflix (NFLX) about selling the rights to the new film for their digital platforms.
The release of No Time To Die has faced repeated theatrical delays due to the coronavirus pandemic. The 25th Bond film was initially due to be released in cinemas in April 2020 but was then pushed back until November. Beverly Hills-based MGM has now been postponed until April next year.
“The film’s release has been postponed until April 2021 in order to preserve the theatrical experience for moviegoers,” an MGM spokesman told Bloomberg.
Sources involved in rumoured talks between the studio and the streaming giants reportedly said it could have acquired hundreds of millions of dollars in a potential streaming sale.
The film, which cost $250m (£191m) to produce, was forecast to gross more than $1bn worldwide.
READ MORE: Cineworld ‘to shut’ all cinemas in the UK and Ireland risking 5,500 jobs
The latest postponement comes after Disney’s live-action remake of Mulan was released on its streaming service instead of in cinemas, which was a major blow for cinema chains who were relying on its release to boost sales.
The film debuted in September at a cost of $29.99 per customer, and only played in theatres in countries that did not have launch plans for Disney+.
The UK Cinema Association, the body representing British cinemas, had called the move “hugely disappointing”, as cinemas continued to battle declining numbers due to the health crisis.
Earlier this month Cineworld (CINE.L), Britain’s biggest cinema chain, announced plans to temporarily close its doors in the UK and its Regal cinemas in the US, on the back of big-budget film delays. The move affected around 45,000 staff, including cleaners and security personnel.
Other blockbusters such as Marvel’s “Black Widow” and “West Side Story” have also been delayed until 2021.
WATCH: ‘No Times To Die’ will not be sold to streaming platforms