The coronavirus, or COVID-19, continues to affect the movie industry. Major Hollywood releases, including Mulan, The New Mutants and Fast & Furious 9 have all been postponed and now there’s another major production taking a hit.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, an upcoming Marvel film, is suspending first unit production over concerns of the coronavirus. According to The Hollywood Reporter, director Destin Daniel Cretton was tested for the virus and at the request of a doctor, will self-isolate for two weeks. The movie will still continue in some capacity, though, as second unit work (usually action sequences) will move forward.
The crew was informed of Cretton’s decision to get testing and he makes it a point to include a personal reason as the driving force, with Marvel saying:
“As many of you know, Destin, our director, has a newborn baby. He wanted to exercise additional caution given the current environment and decided to get tested for Covid-19 today. He is currently self-isolating under the recommendation of his doctor. While he waits for the results of the test, we are suspending 1st unit production in an abundance of caution until he gets the results this coming week. Second unit and off production will continue as normal. We will reach out to everyone by Tuesday for the latest update. This is an unprecedented time. We appreciate everyone’s understanding as we work through this.”
This certainly is unprecedented. The NBA suspended its season, Disneyland is closing and it seems like only a matter of time before movie theaters follow suit. This is a global pandemic and places as far away as Australia simply cannot escape it. Shang-Chi is filming down there and the region already has more than 150 confirmed cases of the virus. This includes Tom Hanks and wife Rita Wilson, who are there shooting an Elvis Presley biopic.
Normally when terrible things are occurring in the world, we escape to a sporting event or theme park or movie theater. Now, however, those things are being taken away from us and for who knows how long. But every precaution should be taken to prevent anything serious from happening because at the end of the day, sports and movies are trivial by comparison. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and F9 and all of the other films we’re looking forward to will still be there eventually. It’s just going to take a little longer than expected. And for good reason.