The effects of the coronavirus pandemic are being faced all over the world, with scores of countries still in the middle of restrictive lockdown measures in an attempt to try and stop the spread of the virus. Most public gatherings and events have been postponed or cancelled, with sporting events also coming to a grinding halt. The movie business has been one of the worst affected, as theatres have had to close globally, and so many movie releases have had to be pushed to later in the year. This will have an undeniable impact on the earning potential of those movies, but another effect of this pandemic will be to potentially delay the Academy Awards ceremony, for the first time in 93 years.
Usually held at the end of February every year, there are serious discussions around moving the Oscars award ceremony to May or June, thereby postponing it by three to four months. This is being considered due to the lack of releases at the box office due to the pandemic at the moment, with producers already having been informed of the “longer release window” for their movies to be eligible for an Oscar nomination. With so many movies being pushed back, it makes no sense to host the Oscars at its usual spot on the calendar, as many movies will be likely to miss the original cut-off for being considered for nomination.
Another change to the rules brought in by the Academy in light of the pandemic, has been to allow movies released on streaming services to be eligible for winning an Oscar. Previously, any movie wanting to be considered for an Oscar would need to have a theatrical release, and although movies produced by and released on streaming services like Netflix, such as The Irishman, for example, did get nominated last year, they all had small theatrical runs in order to qualify for the Oscars. This change is only applicable for this year, while the rules will revert back to their original state for the 2022 Oscars and onwards.
Some of the most notable movies to be postponed due to the pandemic include Disney’s live-action remake of Mulan, Christopher Nolan’s next movie, Tenet, an eagerly awaited sequel to Tom Cruise’s hit Top Gun in Top Gun: Maverick, the next Marvel superhero movie, Black Widow, and the curtain call for Daniel Craig’s turn as James Bond, No Time To Die. The Bond movie was one of the most anticipated movies of the year, given that it was almost sure to be Craig’s last outing as 007. No Time To Die will bring Craig’s Bond adventure to a close, an adventure which began all the way back in 2006 with Casino Royale.
As the name suggests, Casino Royale had a lot of scenes and a major part of the plot revolving around a casino, with roulette and poker games, and set the tone for the Daniel Craig era as James Bond. No Time To Die features a number of stellar actors, some returning and some new, with Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Lea Seydoux and Cristoph Waltz all reprising their roles from previous Bond movies, but also seeing the addition of Ana de Armas, and newly-minted Oscar winner Rami Malek to the cast.
Malek’s turn as the villain, in particular, is being extremely anticipated, and while we must wait for some more time to see what the movie has in store for us, the theme song for the movie was already released some months ago in anticipation of a normal release. Billie Eilish, the teenage singing sensation, is the singer for the track, named after the movie itself, and it is an extremely moody and melancholic song which sets the tone for this era-ending Bond film. We look forward to the movie itself now, looking to say goodbye to one of the finest Bonds ever.