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“The Batman”, “The Matrix 4” among Hollywood films stuck in limbo – Variety




Cameras may have stopped rolling two weeks ago, but Hollywood headaches will only get worse in the weeks and months to come as the industry tentatively plans for the day when studios resume their activities.

From “The Matrix 4” to “Shang-Chi and the legend of the ten rings”, the coronavirus pandemic has halted production, leaving many teams behind the biggest blockbusters unsure when they will be able to call again ‘action.

The sources say Variety that most studios let talent and their representatives know that at this point, they don’t expect these stalled productions to resume before mid-May at the earliest. When most of these closings were first announced, the studios hinted that people might be able to resume work in April. But even May may be overly optimistic – the pandemic is not expected to peak in major production centers like New York until the end of April.

The studios will not be able to resume work until local governments have lifted the ban on gatherings of more than 10 people, a number that most settings regularly overshadow. A source estimates that the first films to resume production will likely be those filming in the United States, as the prospect of filming abroad presents too many logistical challenges given the global nature of COVID-19.

Not only are the studios focused on the safety of their actors and teams, they are also trying to find ways to welcome talent who had lined up with other productions in the coming months. Right now, expecting stars like Chris Pratt in “Jurassic World: Dominion” or Dwayne Johnson and Ryan Reynolds in “Red Notice” are expected to be able to convince upcoming productions to move their start dates in the future so that they can finish filming. Individuals in supporting roles who have larger parts in upcoming productions will likely have to give up, and insiders say studio managers are already checking on the availability of other actors who can serve as possible replacements.

As for pre-production films that had not yet started shooting, titles like Disney’s “Uncharted” and “Peter Pan & Wendy” are also on hiatus until firm start dates can be sorted. The biggest pre-production film that hasn’t changed its launch date yet is Marvel’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Pre-production has continued remotely on the superhero film, and sources say it is still on track to begin filming in June.

“Mission: Impossible 7” was about to start in Venice, but filming was postponed after Italy was hit hard by the coronavirus. A large part of the film would take place in the European country, which would make it difficult for the production to move the shooting elsewhere.

Other important films were quite advanced when the virus started to escalate. “The Matrix 4” had finished filming in San Francisco and was about to start production in Berlin, “The Batman” had completed almost seven weeks of filming in London, and “Red Notice” had been in preparation for two months in Atlanta. There is an outside chance that these films may even make their original release dates, although it is more likely that they will be postponed.

Studio development slates are also changing. Most executives do not expect things to return to normal for several weeks, although a few take video and telephone meetings while trying to broadcast movies in the hopes of getting the green light over the next 12 months. Director George Miller, for example, has met names like Anya Taylor-Joy for his spin-off “Furiousa”, which he hopes to start shooting in 2021.

Of course, Miller makes concessions to the coronavirus – these hearings were held via Skype.

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