The NTTD-NSNA coincidence

h/t to reader Scott Hand to bringing this to my attention.

As almost everybody knows by now, the official U.S. release date for No Time to Die is Oct. 8. But major movies typically now have Thursday night “preview” showings. That means No Time to Die will be out the night of Oct. 7 at many U.S. theaters. (It will be out Sept. 30 in the U.K. and other countries.)

Oct. 7 also is the 38th anniversary of the U.S. release of Never Say Never Again. That was Sean Connery’s swan song as James Bond. But the movie wasn’t made by Eon Productions. Instead, it was a rival project and a remake (more or less) of Thunderball.

Never Say Never Again remains a sore point for Eon all these decades later. The 1983 movie originally was released by Warner Bros. But it’s now part of the film library of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Bond’s home studio. The last time I saw Never Say Never Again on TV, it had an Orion studio logo, which is an MGM brand.

All of this is coincidence, of course. No Time to Die has been delayed three times because of the COVID-19 pandemic and five times overall. Still, it is amusing in a way.

UPDATE: Reader Jason Kim (at The Ian Fleming Foundation page on Facebook) notes the coincidences extend further.

–Both Never Say Never Again and No Time to Die feature an aging Bond pressed back into service. Connery’s Bond is still with MI6 but at the start of the film has not been on active missions. Craig’s Bond has been away from MI6.

–Sean Connery was 53 was Never Say Never debuted. Daniel Craig will be 53 when No Time to Die debuts. (The delays with No Time to Die made that possible.)

–Both movies include M, Q, Moneypenny, Blofeld and Felix Leiter.

MGM gets into PVOD via Bill & Ted 3

MGM’s Leo the Lion logo

It doesn’t get a lot of 007 fan discussion but Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Bond’s home studio, is dipping its toe in the premium video on demand water with Bill & Ted Face the Music. 

The third Bill & Ted movie is a project of Orion, a brand of MGM. It’s coming out on Aug. 28 “in traditional theatres, drive-ins and PVOD,” as noted by Exhibitor Relations Co. Essentially it’s being released by both traditional and PVOD means amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

To be clear there are a lot of differences between Bill & Ted 3 and No Time to Die. Bill & Ted is a smaller budgeted film. MGM’s Orion brand is set up to release less expensive movies.

Also, Bill & Ted 3 is a “an acquisition title” for Orion, The Hollywood Reporter noted in a July 23 story.

No Time to Die, meanwhile is part of MGM’s crown jewels, the Bond franchise. The 25th 007 film has a reported $250 million budget. The conventional wisdom is it needs a big theatrical release.

Walt Disney Co. earlier this week, opted to move one of its big projects, Mulan, to PVOD. It will be available for $29.99 to people who already subscribe to its Disney + streaming service.

How much does any of this have to do with No Time to Die? Maybe nothing. At the very least, MGM is getting a little experience with PVOD.