In an attempt for Hollywood to stay productive amidst the “new normal” as the spread of COVID-19 continues to rage on, a number of big-budget films have been crafting plans to begin filming overseas. Warner Bros has already managed to get to work on The Matrix 4 over the past month in Berlin. Looking ahead to the productions for The Batman and Fantastic Beasts 3 arriving in the UK in the coming months, a new reporting system has been put into place.
Warner Bros’ Executive Vice President of Physical Production, Kevin Trehy, said the studio has become its “own strictest police force” when it comes to following COVID-19 protocols, made by the WB itself, the British Film Commission and others regions working with them. Going forward with European-set productions, there’s a new reporting system in place. The cast and crew on sets such as The Batman and Fantastic Beasts 3 can anonymously alert senior managers if they witness others on set breaking safety codes put in place.
Kevin Trehy announced the new reporting system during a closed-doors industry panel, per Deadline. He also explained the WarnerMedia’s task force that has been formed during the COVID-19 pandemic has been closely listening to film crews and hiring safety consultants in preparation for more of their productions returning to set. One notable change filmmakers are currently dealing with is a mandated longer pre-production period.
Fantastic Beasts 3 was initially set to begin filming in mid-March in Brazil, but that timeframe turned out to be ill timing. A number of productions were required to shut down during the week of Fantastic Beasts 3’s planned start date on the heels of a rapid amount of cases growing, including Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson testing positive for COVID-19 while on the set of the Elvis Presley biopic.
The Batman was in the middle of its UK shoot at the time of its own shutdown and has been on hiatus for four months. The Matt Reeves-helmed film is expected to return to set in September, but rumor has it the production will be shot completely in a studio rather than shooting additional exterior shots. One does wonder how that may alter the vision for The Batman.
And looking back at Dan Fogler’s words about the Fantastic Beasts sequel, he teased epic battle scenes for the franchise. In the current conditions, that might implement a lot more CGI than the production may have had planned. Other massive films soon getting back to work in the UK are Mission: Impossible 7, which granted Tom Cruise special permission to forgo quarantine rules. Jurassic World: Dominion will be filming its own “bubble” and be masked with protocols.
Stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for more updates on how Hollywood productions are working around global health concerns.
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Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.