Prince William and Kate Middleton attend the premiere of ‘No Time To Die’
The delayed world premiere of the James Bond film “No Time To Die” in London on Tuesday was the cinema’s most high-profile red carpet since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a guest list that included Oscar winners and British royalty.
Wet weather did not dampen spirits as Daniel Craig, dressed in an eye-catching pink velvet dinner jacket, and co-stars including Rami Malek, Lashana Lynch, and Lea Seydoux reunited for the highly anticipated film, which cinema operators hope will help restore pre-pandemic levels of attendance.
“No Time To Die,” the 25th Bond film, has been postponed three times since its original April 2020 release date due to the pandemic forcing movie theatres around the world to close their doors and impose audience size restrictions.
The Universal Pictures and MGM film, which is part of one of Hollywood’s most successful franchises, is Craig’s fifth and final outing as the suave British secret agent, capping a 15-year run that began with 2006’s “Casino Royale.”
“It’s such a great relief. It was so important to me to come and celebrate with all the other cast and crew and to get it into the cinemas and we’re here,” Craig told Reuters.
“A year ago I didn’t think that was going to happen.”
When asked what he would miss most about playing 007, he replied, “The people.”
“No Time To Die,” which is expected to cost $200 million to produce, sees Bond come out of retirement in Jamaica to help track down a new villain, described by Oscar winner Malek as “mischievous(and) devious,” and armed with lethal technology.
“The most difficult part was just coming up with a good story,” Cary Joji Fukunaga, director, said.
“I think of it as the final chapter of this one book where we first met Daniel in ‘Casino Royale,’ and it’s all part of the same story.”
The film introduces Lynch’s character, 007 agent Nomi, who says, “I’m just happy it’s here and we get to celebrate it in the way that it deserves.”
Britain’s Prince Charles, his son Prince William, and their wives were also present at the premiere. Health workers and members of the armed forces were also invited as a thank you for their front-line work during the pandemic.
Judi Dench, a former Bond actress, and Grammy Award winner Billie Eilish, who sings the film’s theme song, were also present.
“No Time To Die,” which hits theatres this week, is one of the most anticipated films of the season.
“I know the world is anticipating this film,” said Seydoux, who reprises her role as Madeleine Swann in “Spectre.”
“We put everything into this film… and I hope people enjoy it.”
Expectations are high after the previous two Bond films, “Spectre” in 2015 and “Skyfall” in 2012, grossed $880 million and more than $1 billion globally, respectively.
“We’re really happy to be supporting the industry now that the cinemas are open,” producer Barbara Broccoli said.
“We made this film for the theatre, and we hope people enjoy it.”
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