Covid crisis presses pause on entertainment industry

The Covid-19 pandemic has rocked the entertainment industry, causing the cancellation of major events and leaving the future of others in doubt, writes Kate Curry.

 Long Finger: Daniel Craig’s latest and last performance as James Bond in ‘No Time To Die’ will not be seen until November after its cinema release was postponed because of Covid-19.
Long Finger: Daniel Craig’s latest and last performance as James Bond in ‘No Time To Die’ will not be seen until November after its cinema release was postponed because of Covid-19.

The Covid-19 pandemic has rocked the entertainment industry, causing the cancellation of major events and leaving the future of others in doubt.

Film, television and music have all been hugely affected, with experts warning the cost of the crisis will total billions of euro.

The Coachella music festival has been postponed, the release date of James Bond film No Time To Die has been delayed, and high-profile stars including Tom Hanks and Idris Elba have tested positive for coronavirus.

Meanwhile, Glastonbury is among the major events facing an uncertain future.

Here is how the coronavirus has affected the entertainment industry:

Film

  • One of the biggest movies of the year, Bond film No Time To Die, had its release postponed from April to November.
  • Disney delayed the release of several films, including its blockbuster remake of Mulan. Horror films The New Mutants and Antlers were also pushed back to unspecified dates later in the year.
  • A Quiet Place II and Fast & Furious 9 were both delayed. A Quiet Place II was set to arrive in cinemas on March 20 while Fast & Furious 9 had a May release date. A Quiet Place II did not receive a new date, while Fast & Furious 9 will now arrive in April 2021.
  • Sony’s Peter Rabbit 2 was supposed to arrive in cinemas on March 27 but has been pushed back to August.
  • The Secret Garden, starring Colin Firth and Julie Walters, has seen its release postponed from April 3 to August 14.
  • Filming has been suspended on The Batman movie, starring Robert Pattinson in the title role, with Warner Bros announcing a two-week hiatus. The studio will “continue to monitor the situation closely,” it said.
  • Universal Pictures said it had stopped production on several titles, including Jurassic World: Dominion and Ice Cube boxing drama Flint Strong.
  • Sony halted production on video game adaptation Uncharted for six weeks. The film, starring Tom Holland, Mark Wahlberg and Antonio Banderas, had been in pre-production in Berlin.
  • The untitled Elvis Presley biopic has been placed on hold after Tom Hanks, who will play the singer’s manager, Colonel Tom Parker, tested positive for Covid-19.
  • Filming on Mission: Impossible 7 had been set to begin in Venice but has been put on hold after Italy became one of the countries hardest hit by the virus.
  • Production on Disney movies The Little Mermaid, Home Alone, The Last Duel, Nightmare Alley and Peter Pan & Wendy have all been paused.
  • Warner Bros has suspended production on Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts 3, with no date so far set for a return.
  • Production on Matrix 4 was under way in Berlin, but that is another high-profile casualty of the virus.

Television

  • Filming for series six of crime drama Peaky Blinders has been postponed, according to the programme’s Instagram page.
  • A BBC spokesman confirmed filming had also been postponed for Line Of Duty.
  • A source close to Netflix’s The Witcher Project said filming for the series had been halted.
  • Long-running US sketch show Saturday Night Live was supposed to return from a break on March 28, but production will not resume “until further notice”.
  • Amazon’s Lord Of The Rings series was shooting in New Zealand but according to local press, production has been suspended.
  • Marvel Studios has halted production on superhero series Loki, Falcon And The Winter Soldier and WandaVision.
  • FX has pressed pause on work on both Pose and Empire.
  • Warner Bros said production on the final season of long-running drama Supernatural had stopped.
  • Netflix has stopped production on season four of Stranger Things. That is part of the streaming giant’s move to shut down all scripted TV and film production in the US and Canada for at least two weeks.
  • Apple has also put work on many of its shows on hold.
  • US late night shows have not been spared. Jimmy Fallon, Seth Myers, James Corden and Stephen Colbert have all had their shows put on a production break.
  • Production on AMC’s The Walking Dead has been delayed, and spin-off Fear The Walking Dead is also affected.
  • Production on teen drama Riverdale was suspended.
  • Wrestlemania will still go ahead on Apri 15 and air live, the WWE said, but it will be vastly scaled back and no fans will be allowed inside the venue.
  • Other high-profile shows affected include America’s Got Talent, Grey’s Anatomy and The Handmaid’s Tale.

Music

  • The world famous Coachella music festival has been pushed back from its original April date to October. Country music festival Stagecoach suffered the same fate.
  • As it stands, Glastonbury is set to go ahead, with headliners Kendrick Lamar, Taylor Swift and Sir Paul McCartney.
  • Teen pop sensation Billie Eilish has been forced to postpone a string of US tour dates.
  • Elton John cancelled more than a dozen concerts in Canada and the US, which had been set to take place in March, April and July as part of his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour. The concerts are being postponed until a later date.
  • The Who and Pearl Jam have postponed their tours.
  • Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke postponed the US leg of his Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes Tour.
  • Celine Dion pushed back the March and April dates of the North American leg of her Courage tour. New dates are yet to be announced.

Theatre

  • Theatres in the West End, Broadway and across Ireland are closed.

Other

  • Disney has closed its theme parks in California, Florida and Paris, shutting Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure, Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Paris Resort.

The Disney cruise line has also stopped new departures.

  • The Met Gala, one of the biggest dates in the fashion diary each year, has been postponed, host Anna Wintour said.
  • Video game event Electronic Entertainment Expo widely known as E3 has been cancelled.

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