- The coronavirus hasn’t only impacted the film industry in the United States, but also in Australia where multiple projects are also filming, in pre-production or about to begin.
- Hollywood darlings Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson tested positive for COVID-19 while they were in Australia shooting a movie about Elvis Presley for director Baz Luhrmann and are now recovering outside of the hospital.
- Actor Idris Elba had been preparing to begin shooting George Miller’s follow-up to Mad Max: Fury Road titled Three Thousand Years of Longing co-starring Oscar-winner Tilda Swinton in Australia before announcing on March 16th he tested positive for COVID-19.
- 1st unit filming on Marvel’s Shang-Chi & The Legend of The Ten Rings in Sydney, Australia had been placed on hold while director Destin Daniel Cretton underwent a COVID-19 test.
Idris Elba and Destin Daniel Cretton have taken to social media to give personal updates on their health, along with Elba trying to dispel rumors concerning COVID-19.
Elba made his original announcement about testing positive on his Twitter account and yesterday updated on his health with some longer videos.
You can watch those videos below.
This morning I tested positive for Covid 19. I feel ok, I have no symptoms so far but have been isolated since I found out about my possible exposure to the virus. Stay home people and be pragmatic. I will keep you updated on how I’m doing 👊🏾👊🏾 No panic. pic.twitter.com/Lg7HVMZglZ
— Idris Elba (@idriselba) March 16, 2020
— Idris Elba (@idriselba) March 17, 2020
— Idris Elba (@idriselba) March 17, 2020
On a brighter note, Shang-Chi director Destin Daniel Cretton took to his Instagram account the other day revealing that he has now tested negative for COVID-19.
CRETTON: “Last Friday, I decided to be tested for the coronavirus. I was working in close proximity with some people who had potentially been exposed, and because Nik and I have a newborn at home, I wanted to be as safe as possible. During my weekend of isolation away from my family, I had a lot of time to ponder this interesting moment in history that our second child was born into, a time full of opinions and division, where scientific truths are debated and brushed off as political spins. But in the midst of this storm, while staring up at a spot on my hotel ceiling that I swear looked exactly like a bunny, I could see something really quite beautiful happening. People all around the world are beginning to realize how connected we are, how vulnerable we are, how much we need each other to survive. I am happy to say that my test came back negative, but I will continue to be even more careful in the days ahead. Because if you believe in good science, and I do, we still have a mountain to climb together. No matter what you believe or how serious you think this problem is, please err on the side of safety and concern for those more vulnerable than you, and remember that having no symptoms doesn’t mean you’re not a carrier. Please stay hopeful, please stay humble, please stay home. Social distancing is an act of love for yourself, your family, and for every person on this planet. Sending all of you our love from Sydney, Australia.”
Shang-Chi lead actor Simu Liu voiced his support for Daniel on social media as well.
View this post on Instagram
Per the news you've no doubt read online, our main unit is going to take a couple days off while some people on our staff undergo precautionary testing. I'm super grateful to work for a company that is proactive, cautious and empathetic during this difficult time. Everyone is in good spirits as we continue to work towards making an incredible film! Stay safe out there, wash your hands, and – of course – don't be racist! Here’s a still from ‘@Awkwafina is @NoraFromQueens’ just for fun. Can you believe I got to hold @JamieJChung’s hand??? 😍
Grateful to work for a company that is proactive, cautious and empathetic during this difficult time. Everyone is in good spirits as we continue to work towards making an incredible film.
Stay safe out there, wash your hands, and – of course – don't be racist 🙂
— Simu Liu (@SimuLiu) March 13, 2020
Why It’s Important & Takeaways (!!!)
Idris Elba will now be focusing on his recovery from COVID-19 and it’s unknown what will ultimately happen with Three Thousand Years of Longing’s production given that their main actor won’t be able to work as planned.
This could also further delay George Miller’s plans for his next film in the Mad Max universe titled Mad Max: Furiosa, which was eyeing to begin filming sometime in 2021 with actors Richard Madden, Jodie Comer, and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II said to be wanted for leading parts in the rumored Furisoa prequel.
Destin Daniel Cretton might continue to practice social distancing with his family. The status of Shang-Chi’s production has yet to be officially updated by the studio and unknown when filming would return to normal.
Disney/Marvel had recently placed all Disney+ show currently filming in Atlanta, Georgia on hiatus and that delay looks like it could be extended after recent CDC recommendations concerning crowd sizes will most defiantly hinder film and television productions.
Australia could very well institute protective measures just like Canada and the United States by shutting down television and film productions as to limit the spread of the coronavirus. This hasn’t officially happened as far as we understand it but could be announced shortly and would certainly cause an issue for Shang-Chi to complete it’s filming.
Production delays with Shang-Chi could have a domino effect with Taika Waititi’s Thor: Love & Thunder start date in August, as the two films share the same facility space at Fox Studios Australia in Sydney.
It’ll also be difficult for the Thor sequel to stay on schedule if it isn’t allowed prep time to complete the pre-production phase of the film.
We’ll have to play it by ear for the foreseeable future.
Marvel’s Shang-Chi & The Legend of The Ten Rings officially stars Simu Liu as the titular Shang-Chi, Tony Leung as the villainous Mandarin, and Awkwafina playing the female lead.
The Phase Four film has a pending release date of February 12th, 2021.
George Miller’s Three Thousand Years of Longing was being described as a fantasy romance flick that involves a “genie” and could have a very detailed large-scale scope as one would expect from the writer/director.
It’s currently without a release date.