The Zurich Film Festival (ZFF) will premiere the new James Bond film, No Time to Die, on Sept. 28, the same day as its world premiere at the Royal Albert Hall in London. This will be the first time a Bond movie has ever played in the official selection of a major film festival.
Christian Jungen, the Zurich Festival’s artistic director, said he “fought for months” to get the Bond premiere, negotiating “every last detail” with distributor Universal. “I am further pleased that the ZFF has succeeded in this coup as it sends out a powerful signal that highlights the importance of cinema. The industry has waited more eagerly for this movie than any other.”
Universal Pictures International Switzerland will release No Time to Die in Switzerland on Sept. 30. The film goes out in North America on Oct. 8. Zurich will also screen a retrospective of Daniel Craig’s Bond movies this year to accompany the No Time to Die release. The film marks Craig’s last outing as 007. Jeffrey Wright, Rami Malek, Christoph Waltz, Léa Seydoux, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw and Naomie Harris co-star. Phoebe Waller-Bridge co-wrote the No Time to Die screenplay.
Zurich pointed to Bond’s Swiss connections over the years. The very first “Bond girl” was Swiss actress Ursula Andress in Dr. No in 1962 and 007’s adventures have often landed him in trouble in the Swiss Alps, frequently seeing him skiing down the slopes of some swanky Swiss resort pursued by henchmen on snowmobiles.
“In hardly any other country does the James Bond series stand for great cinema more than in this country, and traditionally Switzerland is thus one of the most important markets worldwide for the 007 adventures,” said Emin Soysaler, managing director of Universal International Pictures, Switzerland. “Due to the pandemic, the theatrical release had to be postponed and now we are even more pleased to be able to present No Time to Die to the Swiss audience at this year’s Zurich Film Festival. The wait has been worth it: Bond is back!”
The release of No Time to Die, which Cary Joji Fukunaga directed, has been pushed back several times due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Many view Bond’s box office performances as a barometer of the international theatrical business, which has yet to fully bounce back to pre-COVID levels. But with COVID-19 infection rates rising in many parts of the world, there are concerns that cinemas could be shut down again as they were last fall.