1. See you later…

    By Helmut Schierer on 2020-03-06

    …hold your breath.

    To borrow fellow CBner Jim’s phrase, some light entertainment finds itself rescheduled. Bummer. This week the premiere of NO TIME TO DIE was moved to 12. November (UK) and 25. November (US) respectively. 2020, in case you wondered.

    The Interweb immediately reported a combined heart-quake of 16.99 on the Bond fan scale. Fans wept. Fans ranted. Fans threatened to slash their wrists. Some even did it on camera and posted it to the channels of their vast media empires, freely admitting they may be hapless know-nothings but insisting to prove it for 20 minutes so even the last doubts quietly left by their backdoor. Oh well…

    Did this come unexpected? Not exactly. Everybody who hasn’t been living under a stone in a deep deep well in an abandoned old ruin on the wrong side of the Borgo Pass, or at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, must have had at least a wee tiny little inkling that things were going on. Or make that things, sounds more ominous. Befitting a situation were surgical masks are suddenly harder currency than the dollar.

    So in all fairness, one could have paused for a moment when China closed off Wuhan region. One might have hesitated when one heard about lockdowns in Italy, quarantines in Japan and cases popping up wherever authorities started to look. And one must have been aware of nasty things afoot once there was a COBRA meeting – that’s COBRA!!! for the initiated – scheduled 72 hours in advance. Now that’s a sure sign of perilous machinations; Britons only unpack their COBRA!!! gear when it absolutely cannot wait longer than a weekend.

    So the shockwave that rippled the Interweb right after announced the decision to delay this premiere was curiously at once genuine surprise – How dare reality interfere with my – MY! – Bond film? I’ve got a Europe trip booked here! A Midori bursting at the seams with travel vouchers and lounge passes! Is Tyler Brûlé aware of this? Does he approve??? – and yet it fell into a conspicuously quiet atmosphere where Bond fans apparently had started to hold their breath for a few days already. Bond may be a fantasy pastime but most fans are still dimly aware there’s such a thing as a market. And that it’s unlikely NO TIME TO DIE can be that huge success hoped for in a market significantly cut to size. And this is just the reality of it, the part that’s measured in currency: with the outbreak of Covid-19 there’s simply no way a blockbuster can live up to its potential.

    That aside there are the obvious health considerations. And the ethical ones, should your own health just not be all that important to you. Bond fans are famous for braving oceans, hazards and disease with aplomb, and their hands do not falter when disbursing cheeky sums. But they cough and sneeze and mop their beaks like ordinary mortals and their grannies want to celebrate a few more birthdays like everybody else.

    So what can we take home from this series of unfortunate events? Apart from washing our hands. Properly. With soap. I’m looking at you, Pilatus; one more time!

    Well, we know now how Fido must feel when we tease him with a Frankfurter. This is cruel and one should not do it. On the other hand…

    The film is already there, shot and edited and marketed and ready to eat. View. Unlike the Frankfurter it’s not going to rot – not that Fido would mind a rotten Frankfurter; Fido would fight a Rottweiler about a rotten Frankfurter any rotten day. Rot my words. Whatever this film’s qualities may be, they are not going to change between now and November. Nothing is really lost, NO TIME TO DIE is simply waiting a little stretch down the river. We’ll arrive at its secrets in no time at all, hopefully all well and in good health.

    And should some nasty creature have ideas about reaching up to that shelf where NO TIME TO DIE waits now, with intentions of spoiling it…it better be somebody who is not going to be missed. Because that shelf is inside a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard’.

    That sign doesn’t lie.