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Hollywood has been adapting to an uncertain world since the COVID-19 pandemic first hit, with productions seeing unforeseen delays and working under new guidelines. As a year draws closer since the first lockdown was issued, STXfilms is getting ready to release the first Los Angeles-set movie given permissions to film during the pandemic, the Michael Bay-produced Songbird, starring Alexandra Daddario.
The upcoming movie features an all-star cast including K.J. Apa, Sofia Carson, Craig Robinson, Demi Moore and Bradley Whitford. We don’t know much about Alexandra Daddario’s role in Songbird just yet, but the actress did recently speak about what it was like making the movie under these circumstances. In her words:
It was a cool experience ... it was the first thing I got to do all year after being in the house and I felt really lucky to get back to work, but [the film] is definitely something that wouldn't have come around if it hadn't been for this period of time. It's an interesting experience to work during this time because you can't have close contact with the people you're working with.
Songbird imagines our realities four years into the future, in which the coronavirus has mutated into a more lethal COVID-23. Eight million people have died from the virus in that single year alone and more intense and violent lockdown guidelines have taken effect in order to preserve human life. The movie looks like it will mainly follow K.J. Apa’s Nico, an immune motorbike courier, who attempts to get to his girlfriend Sara (Sofia Carson), who is being hunted after her mother gets the virus. Alexandra Daddario spoke further People about the experience:
It was very surreal. I think all of us can say that this period of time is so surreal anyway and then going into a workplace that is just now so different, where you have a line of people getting tests — it definitely feels really surreal.
Songbird had an advantage over other productions because of the nature of the topic. It would be normal for cast members to wear masks in that movie, whereas another film getting the go-ahead would not be able to inject those realities in front of the cameras. Even so, it sounds like Songbird was very serious about safety and had its cast and crew take frequent tests to prevent production shutdowns – a situation not even Batman is immune to. Check out the trailer for Songbird here:
Though due to the subject matter of Adam Mason's movie hitting too close to home, it's been met with controversial reactions among movie fans who assert that the film’s release is not only too soon but perhaps exploiting a very real world event that is directly affecting and traumatizing people every day. Songbird will be released on VOD for $19.99 48-hour rental on December 11, ahead of hitting a to-be-announced streaming service in 2021.