Why The Michael Bay-Produced Pandemic Film Songbird Was Hit With A ‘Do Not Work’ Order

Bad Boys For Life Michael Bay's wedding DJ cameo

UPDATE: SAG-AFTRA has rescinded its Do Not Work order for the feature film Songbird, produced by On a Lark Productions, LLC, and members are free to work on this production effective immediately. 

Not too long ago, the Michael Bay-produced thriller Songbird was announced, with plans to have the movie in production right about now. It seemed ambitious, but the folks behind the film were promising that safety was key, and whatever regulations were set for getting back to work would be followed. And yet, Songbird currently finds itself stalled out, as the Adam Mason-directed film has been hit with a “Do Not Work” order from SAG-AFTRA. As it turns out, the production’s attention to safety may have been a bit overblown.

THR caught wind of the delay leveled against this potential round of Bayhem, as representatives for the major acting union have come out saying that Songbird’s plans to keep its performers and crew safe are less than transparent. With the project’s producers being absent from the list of those who have signed on to comply with SAG-AFTRA’s safety agreements, word came down that the production was not to proceed for the time being.

This leaves Songbird’s production crew, and its recently announced cast of actors, in a bit of a lurch. Last week saw Demi Moore, who’s about to see her role in Peacock’s Brave New World adaptation unveiled to the public, as well as actor/comedian Craig Robinson, veteran character actor Peter Stormare and Richard Jewell star Paul Walter Hauser become part of the cast to this pandemic-fueled thriller. Songbird will see these actors playing in a near future Los Angeles still under lockdown, with action and conspiracy theories firmly in play. If that isn’t a cast and plot that sounds like a perfect fit for Michael Bay’s talents as a producer, I don’t know what is.

Unfortunately, there aren't many details for how Songbird’s production would have either adhered to or flouted SAG-AFTRA’s current guidelines for getting back to set life in the midst of the course of current events. Which is exactly the problem that sees the powerful body of decision makers threatening disciplinary action to anyone “accepting employment or rendering services” for the production.

As there is no release date intended for Songbird’s debut, and production hasn’t started as a result of this professional controversy, there’s no telling how long this particular issue could delay the start of filming. Of course, those involved with getting the Michael Bay-produced film on the rails to completion will want to make sure that happens as soon as possible, which means we could hear an update on this matter in the very near future. As soon as news breaks to the progression of Songbird’s production, you can be sure that CinemaBlend will be there to report those developments as they happen.

As for the movies that are on their way to the big screen soon, learn when they'll arrive in our 2020 release schedule.

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.