Ashton Martin DB Mark III? Here. Tuxedo? Present. One liners that will disarm the opponent just at the right time? Available in abundance. James Bond’s checklist is iconic. There’s just one thing missing: the cinema.

Originally due to be released April last year, the latest Bond instalment No Time to Die was pushed until November 2020, then April 2021. Now, rumours are emerging that the 25th Bond film’s release date may be pushed back again till November 2021.

To combat this delay, production company MGM considered following the footsteps of The Secret Garden and Mulan, cutting out the cinematic middleman and sending Bond straight to a streaming platform. MGM, however, eventually opted to walk away from the lucrative deal to “preserve the theatrical experience for movie goers”.

Cinema has imploded during the pandemic. Blockbusters have been pulled left right and centre and Cineworld had to shut down 128 cinemas and cut 5000 jobs. In the past, Bond has been known for sweeping in at the 11th hour to save cinema: Skyfall and Spectre respectively raked in $1.111 billion and $879.6 million for the box office.

But what few seem to realise, is that Bond needs cinema just as much as cinema needs him.