At this point, it might be easier to make a list of films that aren’t being affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Dwayne Johnson’s upcoming comedy thriller would not be on that list. As of Monday, Red Notice, a Netflix production co-starring Gal Gadot and Ryan Reynolds, will temporarily shut down production.
Red Notice has been filming in Atlanta since January. On Saturday, March 14, Dwayne Johnson announced on Instagram that the Netflix production will be pausing production for two weeks beginning March 16. The post contained a video of him announcing the news to the Red Notice cast and crew, emphasizing how much he appreciates their hard work but also recognizes the need to prioritize safety at this time:
We really appreciate all your hard work and your patience during this time, but you know my number one goal for you guys -- and it’s our number one goal too -- is that we’re gonna get everybody home to their families. 'Cause really that’s where we need to be right now is home taking care of our families and making sure they’re good, and supported, and taken care of, and protected. Especially our elderly. So we’re gonna make that happen. We’re gonna do everything we can to make that happen and make that happen fast. We love what we do and we’re very blessed and lucky, but you know this is the kind of stuff that can wait ‘cause the most important thing is to take care of our families.
It was definitely a stand-up move for The Rock to reach out personally to the Red Notice crew. Take a look at his heartfelt, hopeful message here:
Red Notice is the latest of many film and television productions to be put on hold in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Warner Bros announced a two week break in The Batman’s production schedule. Disney has stopped production on all its current live-action productions, including The Little Mermaid and Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings. And Netflix didn’t just pause production on Red Notice -- it’s temporarily pulling the plug on all of its scripted projects, including Stranger Things, Grace and Frankie, and Lucifer.
Coronavirus isn’t just having an impact on production either. Several huge movie releases, from Mulan to No Time To Die have been pushed back, some indefinitely, due to growing concerns about large gatherings making it easier for the virus to spread. Netflix has not issued an official release date for Red Notice yet, so there’s no indication as to whether or not this delay will significantly impact its plans for the film. It’s also not clear whether any of these projects will be able to resume in two weeks, or if they will have to extend their hiatuses even further. But it’s safe to say that the entire film and television industry will feel the effects of the pandemic long after it’s contained.