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Tom Hanks’ Elvis Movie Will Continue Filming After Shutting Down Over COVID-19 Diagnosis

Tom Hanks in The Bridge of Spies
(Image credit: (Disney))

Many Hollywood productions are slowly starting to get ready to resume filming this summer and during the latter part of this year after a major three-month setback. The COVID-19 pandemic altered many initial Hollywood plans earlier this year and, when Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson tested positive for coronavirus while working on Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Presley biopic, it served as a wake-up call for Hollywood. After the couple announced their diagnosis back in mid-March and the film was delayed, many other sets started packing up, too.

Now, it looks like the film centered on Elvis Presley and his manager, Colonel Tom Parker, may continue in Australia soon ahead of its fall 2021 release date. Queensland’s Premier (Australia’s equivalent to a prime minister) Annastacia Palaszczuk recently met with Baz Luhrmann about returning to the country to get back to work, and a “safe plan” is currently being developed for the biopic and other productions that are set for the Gold Coast.

Palaszczuk said she wants to ensure the movie can resume shooting “as soon as possible,” but the government would also like to make sure the cast and crew can “operate safely,” per Daily Mail. No specific date for the music biopic on The King has been disclosed, but Screen Queensland and Queensland Health are actively working toward this.

Less than two weeks ago, Los Angeles received the go-ahead to resume Hollywood work with a ton of restrictions, including crew being required to wear masks and the requirement for sex scenes to be rewritten, abandoned or adjusted using CGI. Production will be particularly tough for a film of this subject matter, since much of Elvis Presley’s life took place in front of droves of fans and large gatherings are outlawed in many regions.

On the day the Elvis film had to shut down, the movie’s Presley actor Austin Butler was at the center of “basically hundreds of girls kissing Elvis,” according to the director. Time will tell if Baz Luhrmann got what he needed for that scene since chances are something of that breadth may not be allowed under Australia’s requirements. Though the Gold Coast is at a much more stable condition than the U.S. considering the country just reported its first death in a month.

The untitled flick is set to be Baz Luhrmann’s first flick since 2013’s The Great Gatsby and will track Elvis Presley’s rise to fame and his relationship with his manager, played by Tom Hanks. The movie has already been delayed from its original June 2021 date to November 5, 2021. In regard to Hanks and Rita Wilson, after having coronavirus for a couple weeks in March, the two completely recovered, returned to their home in Los Angeles and have been donating plasma to support the effort for health professionals to find a vaccine.

Tom Hanks will next star in World War II drama Greyhound, which is hitting Apple TV+ on July 10. Stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for more exciting updates on movie productions.

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