A fictitious film based off of the panic surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic was inevitable. Some of us might have thought Tom Hanks could have made it, playing himself during his diagnosis and recovery period. Maybe others would have pegged filmmakers like Oliver Stone, Michael Moore or any other politically motivated director to deliver a story of how the world worked through this crisis among crises. But as it turns out, there’s already a coronavirus movie, aptly titled Corona, finished and shopping around for a streaming distributor.
According to recent news from THR, writer/director Mostafa Keshvari was inspired to write Corona after hearing early reports of the coronavirus first surfacing in China. Keshvari eventually wrote the story that would become his motion picture, which sees an apartment block’s tenants turn against one another, as racism presents itself when the group is trapped in an elevator.
The rest, as they say, is history, as Corona was shot in Vancouver before COVID-19 had grown from a regional catastrophe into a worldwide pandemic. Between the early head start this film had on anyone trying to make a film about the coronavirus crisis, and the indie nature of the movie, it’s not hard to see how even without any advanced knowledge, Corona was finished in time to win the race.
Corona is a new project ready to play for the real-time throne 1917 had previously shot for in its award-qualifying run last year, as Mostafa Keshvari’s film is a single take experiment. Keeping its audience confined with the cast of characters debating whether a Chinese woman is a carrier of COVID-19, the tensions in Corona are classic, yet very much timely.
If you’re curious as to how Corona looks, you can see the trailer for the film below:
While the market is postponing everything from the production of films like Jurassic World: Dominion to the box-office release of big ticket movies like Black Widow, Wonder Woman 1984 and a good handful of Sony’s remaining titles for 2020, there’s going to be a vacuum of entertainment that needs to be filled. So in that respect, Corona already has one advantage in its corner.
The second, and possibly most important, factor that could make Corona stand out in the market is that it truly is the first film covering the hysteria behind COVID-19. That novelty alone will draw people into watching what Mostafa Keshvari’s film has to offer to the world.
Unfortunately, that’s where the bad news comes in, as Corona doesn’t have a release date or a distributor to call home. So if you’re a streaming provider looking to obtain the rights to distribute the film, it looks like your elevator to entertainment just opened on the ground floor.