Both Netflix and Disney have halted productions on current films and TV shows in an attempt to prevent the further spread of the novel coronavirus.
Netflix confirmed to The Verge that it is pausing scripted TV and film production in both the US and Canada for two weeks due to government restrictions, alongside health and safety precautions. A statement from Disney reiterates that “while there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on our productions, after considering the current environment and the best interests of our cast and crew, we have made the decision to pause production on some of our live-action films for a short time.” Disney’s statement adds that it will “continue to assess the situation and restart as soon as feasible.” It’s unclear if this will impact release dates at this time.
For Disney, that means a number of high level productions, including the live-action remake of The Little Mermaid and others are currently in various levels of production phases. Prior to Disney’s announcement, Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings director, Destin Daniel Cretton, announced he is currently undergoing self-isolating procedures as he waits on the results of a test for COVID-19. First unit production is paused in London as a result.
It’s a little harder to nail down just how many Netflix productions are affected by the two-week pause as there are an assortment of shows and films in various levels of production at any given time. Deadline is reporting that Stranger Things, Grace and Frankie, Sex/Life, and Ryan Murphy’s The Prom have halted production. The Verge has reached out to Netflix for more clarification on how many films and TV shows are affected.
Prior to Netflix and Disney’s announcements, a number of efforts to prevent the spread of coronavirus were announced. Disney is closing its last remaining parks — Disney World Orlando, Disneyland Paris, and Disneyland in Anaheim — beginning this weekend. Employees at other Disney verticals including ESPN, direct-to-consumer, Disney Television, Disney Studios, and Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, have also been told to work from home if possible.
Several films from Disney and other studios, including Universal Pictures and Sony Pictures, have been delayed. Mulan, New Mutants, Antlers, F9, No Time To Die, and A Quiet Place II have all been delayed to later this year or for a time that hasn’t been announced yet. F9 is delayed until April 2021, taking over a spot reserved for the tenth installment in the franchise.
Other major studios, including Sony Pictures, Paramount, Universal, and Warner Bros., have not announced major closures at this time. Warner Bros. shut down production on Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis biopic after actor Tom Hanks tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
“We are working closely with the appropriate Australian health agencies to identify and contact anyone who may have come in direct contact with the individual,” a Warner Bros. spokesperson told IndieWire. “The health and safety of our company members is always our top priority, and we are taking precautions to protect everyone who works on our productions around the world.”