The Coronavirus Death Toll Keeps Rising and Hollywood Might Be the Next Victim


Unlike pretty much every country in the world, the United States has failed to control the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. There are a number of reasons for this, but the primary one is a lack of a coordinated national response, instead relying on a patchwork of individual state-level plans which have had varying degrees of success. That, coupled with an inadequate number of tests is pushing movies out of Hollywood and to places that won’t expose the cast and crew to a deadly pandemic.

CNBC reports that Solstice Studios is moving production of their Ben Affleck-led film that was scheduled to begin filing in April to Canada after no suitable US locations could be found.

Producer Mark Gill said that the problem with Filipino in Hollywood is “a shortage of tests, a delayed time between the test and the lab result and that would put us in immediate violation of our agreement with the unions who represent that cast and crew.”

Another producer from a different studio, Shaun MacGillivray, said that larger studios would be better equipped to absorb the costs of testing, but if there’s one thing we should know about large studios it’s that they’ll do basically anything to save a few bucks. Do you think Marvel films all their movies in Atlanta because actors thrive in a city that’s constantly in the middle of a heatwave with humidity so high you can see it? No, it’s because Georgia gives productions huge tax breaks to film there. Those movies all make a billion dollars, do you think an extra 20% in taxes would crush the budget?

Solstice looked at filming in the UK and Australia, as well. Let me tell you something about Australia; it is the same size as the United States with 7% of the population and it has a functioning government. It’s amazing how many “f**k off, we’re full” bumper stickers you see in a country that has 2000 miles of nothing between major cities, but it is far from full and there is plenty of room for studios to build giant lots and production cities on. If they can’t safely film in the US because of coronavirus, that is going to start looking like a much more attractive option.

Is it likely that Hollywood will outsource all its jobs overseas? Not in the short term, but they’re not going to let productions stay shut down forever. And if you think there’s a lack of attractive, talented people in Australia, well… have you ever seen how hot Australians are? Chris Hemsworth is like a 6 in Sydney. And not fat Endgame Hemsworth, either.

Notify of

1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
3 years ago

As an Aussie, I can attest to pretty much all of this.