When Tom Hanks announced that he and his wife Rita Wilson had tested positive for the coronavirus, they were here in Australia doing production on Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Presley biopic.
The Warner Bros film, in which Hanks was to play Presley’s manager Colonel Tom Parker, shut down on the Gold Coast immediately.
As the coronavirus spreads, and states issue mandates to try to contain the pandemic, individual film and television productions – which can be the size of villages – are shutting down across the globe.
These shutdowns will have untold financial and cultural impact, and may reshape popular culture and its economic model for years to come.
As of Friday afternoon, Netflix shutdown all scripted film and TV production in the United States and Canada. This will affect hit shows Stranger Things, Riverdale, and Grace and Frankie.
Warner Bros. Television Group halted production on over 70 series and pilots, including Young Sheldon, Supergirl, Batwoman, Claws, All Rise, Lucifer.
Disney TV Studios put 16 pilots and a handful of current shows on a temporary production hiatus.
Apple announced that all its shows produced by outside studios have been suspended for the time being.
That includes previously announced The Morning Show and Foundation, as well as See, Lisey’s Story, Servant and For All Mankind.
FX Productions are also shutting down production on Snowfall, Atlanta and Fargo.
Grey’s Anatomy shut down production late last week and postponed the remainder of work on season 16, effective immediately.
And all three NCIS shows have also shut up shop.
The shutdowns are also affecting talk shows. Ellen was the first to announce a halt to production.
Since then, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Real Time With Bill Maher, John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight and Trevor Noah’s The Daily Show and The Late Late Show With James Corden are all downing tools for at least two weeks.
For the scripted series, it remains unclear just how long production will be delayed, and how long it’ll take for your favourite shows to return to the air.