Entertainment Daniel Craig hopes No Time To Die will boost ailing cinemas post-Covid
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Daniel Craig, along with other stars of the upcomingfilm, 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.
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'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.
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'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.'
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.
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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.
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.
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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.
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'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.'
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.
Quantum of Solace, his second outing as 007 in 2008, ran for just 102 minutes.
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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.
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.
Daniel Craig on bidding Bond goodbye in 'No Time to Die' .
NEW YORK (AP) — When Daniel Craig first got the gig, he felt like something had gone amiss. “You’ve got the wrong guy,” he told the producers. But Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson insisted. No, he was the one. He was James Bond. Craig, then a rising performer but far from the expected choice, never had any ambitions to play James Bond. He had assumed he was being strung along as part of a massive casting machine, one of dozens of actors screen tested. © Provided by Associated Press This image released by Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures shows Daniel Craig, left, Ana de Armas in a scene from "No Time To Die.