Daniel Craig hopes No Time To Die will boost ailing cinemas post-Covid

Daniel Craig hopes No Time To Die will boost ailing cinemas in wake of the pandemic… as new James Bond flick runtime is announced as the longest-ever in the franchise

Daniel Craig, along with other stars of the upcoming James Bond film, No Time To Die, hopes that the Covid-delayed film can boost ailing cinemas amid the pandemic.

Craig and Rami Malek play 007 and his latest nemesis in the spy drama – which is officially the longest James Bond film ever made with a runtime of 163 minutes – and the actors have both expressed hopes that the cinema business picks up again soon.

Craig told PA: ‘There’s a great deal of expectation surrounding this film. I believe in cinema, it’s the job I do and having this film come out right now and try and hopefully to give the industry some sort of boost.

Drawing in the punters: The cast of the upcoming James Bond film, No Time To Die, are hoping that the Covid-delayed film can boost ailing cinemas amid the pandemic

‘Cinema is here to stay as far as I’m concerned and if we can help in some way, I’ll be very happy.’

Oscar-winning actor Malek – who portrays villain Safin – said he will always believe in the importance of the theatrical experience, adding: ‘I would be devastated if we lost this great global pastime.

‘It is, for me, one of one of the great arts that we have to share with each other and with the world and if this film can reinvigorate our ability to go back to those places that we just have fallen in love with in our youth and throughout our lives, then I would feel a great privilege.

‘I won’t say I’d be responsible for it, but I’d love to be included in bringing that back, to be able to share with the world. We need it. I will always have faith in the theatrical experience.’

Boost: Daniel Craig plays 007 in the spy drama – which is officially the longest James Bond film ever made with a runtime of 163 minutes – and expressed hopes that the cinema business picks up again soon

The movie, which will be Craig’s final outing as 007, was initially due for release in April 2020; but as concerns about the coronavirus pandemic grew, the release was pushed to November 2020 and has been moved several times since then.

When it was announced the film was being pushed back to April 2021, Cineworld made the decision to close 127 Cineworld and Picturehouse sites.

Multiplexes have started to see the return of crowds for franchise favourites such as Fast & Furious 9 and Marvel properties Black Widow and Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings, which posted the biggest three-day opening in the pandemic era in the UK with £5.8 million. 

The top grossing film of the year so far in the UK is Peter Rabbit 2, which has amassed £20.2 million since its release in May, according to figures provided to the PA news agency by the BFI.

Oscar-winning actor Rami Malek – who portrays villain Safin – said he will always believe in the importance of the theatrical experience, adding: ‘I would be devastated if we lost this great global pastime’

However, cinemas will be hoping it is the allure of Bond that will draw back hesitant crowds who are yet to venture back inside to sit in front of a screen.

It was reported that studio MGM held discussions with Netflix and Apple about releasing No Time To Die directly on to a streaming platform but, asked if it came close to the film bypassing a theatrical release, producer Barbara Broccoli told PA: ‘Not for us. Fortunately, we have great partners with MGM and they stuck with us, and the pressure was tremendous on them, obviously.

‘But I think we’ve learned many things during this 18-month period and certainly one of them is the sense of community, that we need people, we’re social creatures, and we need each other.

‘I think there’s no better place to come together than the cinema. And we are hoping this is going to be a joyful return for people to come back with their friends and their families to see the film and to again celebrate, after a very long and difficult period.’

Craig told PA: ‘There’s a great deal of expectation surrounding this film. I believe in cinema, it’s the job I do and having this film come out right now and try and hopefully to give the industry some sort of boost’

No Time To Die will have a world premiere at the Royal Albert Hall on Tuesday, with the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in attendance. The film will be released in UK cinemas on September 30. 

007 enthusiasts will be treated to the lengthy instalment, having not had Bond in their lives since Spectre in 2015.

Until now, this had been the longest-running movie, which ran for approximately 148 minutes.

No Time To Die will be 15 minutes longer than the previous record-holder – and Craig will continue to have the honour of playing 007 in both the longest and shortest ever Bond films.

Longest-ever! 007 enthusiasts will be treated to the lengthy instalment, having not had Bond in their lives since Spectre in 2015; it has a runtime of 163 minutes

Quantum of Solace, his second outing as 007 in 2008, ran for just 102 minutes.

Played back-to-back, Craig’s five Bond films would run for a total of 701 minutes – or more than 11 and half hours.

This is longer than the combined running time of Sean Connery’s six official outings as 007 (697 minutes), but some way behind Roger Moore’s seven-film stint as Bond (889 minutes), according to analysis by the PA news agency of BBFC data.

The 007 films have swollen in size over the decades. While Connery’s six films (released in 1962-67 and 1971) averaged a concise 116 minutes, Moore’s seven films (1973-85) averaged 127 minutes and Timothy Dalton’s two films (1987-89) an even longer 132 minutes.


Lagging behind: Sean Connery’s [L] six official outings as 007 total at 697 minutes, while the four films of Pierce Brosnan [R]  saw the average drop to 125 minutes

Close but no cigar: Roger Moore’s seven-film stint as Bond totaled at 889 minutes [Moore and Madeline Smith are pictured in a scene from Live And Let Die in 1973]

The four films of Pierce Brosnan (1995-2002) saw the average drop to 125 minutes – but Daniel Craig’s five films as Bond (2006-21) have seen running times balloon to an average of 140 minutes.

The only film starring George Lazenby as James Bond, 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, clocked in at 142 minutes.

This remained the longest-ever 007 film until Craig’s debut Casino Royale in 2006, which ran for 145 minutes. 

Such an epic running time is perhaps a fitting tribute to an actor who has held the role of James Bond for more than 15 years: longer than anyone else. 

No Time to Die opens in cinemas on Thursday September 30.

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