Coronapocalpyse Hits Hollywood

Cartoon by Casper Savoie
The coronavirus has affected the whole world, but one of the most surprising victims of this pandemic is the movie and television industries. The virus has pushed back several movie release dates and shut down many television sets.

Boundaries in place to prevent the spread means Hollywood executives are being forced to push back release dates and miss normal opening weekend box office numbers

Some of the most highly anticipated movies coming out in the next few weeks won’t be coming out for months. One of the first movies to get pushed back was the new Bond movie “No Time Left To Die” which now won’t come out until Nov. 25. Other movies that have been pushed back include Disney’s “Mulan” and “A Quiet Place 2.” 

Many film sets are also closing down for a short time to keep cast and crew members from getting and spreading the virus. “The Matrix 4” and the third “The Fantastic Beasts” movie were set to begin filming, but Warner Bros. decided to shut down both productions. 

Streaming service Disney Plus has put several projects on hold, including the highly anticipated Marvel shows “WandaVision,” “Loki” and “The Falcon and Winter Soldier.” It also started streaming “Frozen 2” three months ahead of schedule. 

Universal recently announced some films recently released in theaters will be put on video on demand. “The Invisible Man,” “Emma” and “The Hunt” will all be available beginning March 20. 

Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon have all halted productions on various shows like season two of “The Witcher,” the fourth season of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and Amazon’s new “Lord of the Rings” show. 

The popular CW show “Riverdale” shut down production because a crew member came into contact with someone with the virus. The studio has also suspended productions for all of their shows. 

Several late night TV talk show hosts like Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, and Steven Colbert taped audience-less shows. While Ellen DeGeneres first announced her daytime talk show would film with no audience for 30 days, she later announced she wouldn’t tape any new episodes for the safety of her and her crew. 

“Saturday Night Live” has also postponed their upcoming shows because New York City is a rising hotspot for coronavirus cases. There is no return date yet, but you know they are going to have a few sketches about social distancing, panic buying toilet paper, and people making their own hand sanitizer.  

Even movie theaters are taking a hit with this pandemic. Both Harkins Theaters and Alamo Drafthouses have closed down for a short period. AMC has also announced it will close theaters nationwide for as long as 6-12 weeks.  

The virus has also impacted celebrities. Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson both tested positive for the coronavirus. They are now quarantined and being given treatment in Australia. The growing list of celebrities who have tested positive includes Idris Elba, Daniel Dae Kim, and Kristofer Hijuv.

The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) has told its members to not work in China, Italy, Iran, and South Korea due to their high numbers of cases. 

Popular music and film festival South By SouthWest was canceled due to coronavirus fears. Several other smaller film festivals across the world have also canceled or postponed. Indie filmmakers rely on these festivals to showcase their work. 

Every studio has put a pause on all projects. Like many other industries, it leaves some in financial limbo. Hundreds if not thousands have lost their jobs already due to the shutdown. 

There is an unnerving uncertainty to when this will all end. When it comes to social distancing and being quarantined indefinitely, we can all find solace in movies and television shows. We may have to rely on the ones we have seen several times, but until this all clears up, it is better to be safe than sorry.

About Author

Jordan Jones was hired as the Culture reporter for the Mesa Legend in January of 2020. She is in her second semester at MCC, and she plans to transfer to ASU and get an Interdisciplinary Studies degree in Film Study and Art History. With her degrees and passion for cinema, Jordan intends to become a film archivist.