Warner Bros. moving ahead with The Batman, Matrix 4 Production
Be it a bid to stay ahead of their competition or choosing to throw caution to the wind, Warner Bros. is not following the same suit as their competing studios Disney and Sony Pictures and is allowing the productions of both The Batman and The Matrix 4, amongst others, to continue for the time being during the worldwide coronavirus outbreak, according to SlashFilm.
Hours earlier, Disney halted the production of all live-action film productions, with seven films being affected including the Honey I Shrunk the Kids reboot, Little Mermaid remake starring Halle Bailey (Grown-ish) and Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings, with Sony making a similar decision hours later by delaying shooting on the Dakota and Elle Fanning-led The Nightingale and the Rosamund Pike-starring Wheel of Time series adaptation.
Warner Bros. is for the moment keeping the train rolling on production for both the highly-anticipated reboots of Batman with Robert Pattinson (The Lighthouse) in the titular role and the Matrix franchise, as well as the Venus and Serena Williams biopic King Richard starring Will Smith (Spies in Disguise) and Fantastic Beasts 3, while future productions Black Adam and Aquaman 2 are set for later this year and aren’t currently set to be affected by the global outbreak.
The one film at the studio currently affected by the outbreak is the upcoming Baz Luhrmann (The Great Gatsby) biopic centered on Elvis Presley’s relationship with his manager Colonel Tom Parker who is set to be played by Tom Hanks. In a shocking turn of events, Hanks revealed he and his wife Rita Wilson both tested positive for COVID-19 while shooting in Queensland, Australia, and that he had contracted it outside of the country and brought it with them. They have taken to social media in the days since the announcement to assure followers that they are in good spirits and are receiving according treatment in their quarantined hospital.
WarnerMedia did, however, release a memo to employees across all companies, film, TV or otherwise, asking they work from home if possible while also stating that the company will keep its offices open for those who can’t work remotely or need to pick up resources to be able to work from home.
“It’s a critical time for our business on many fronts and we have already achieved so many impressive results together over the last year,” Bob Greenblatt, chairman of WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-To-Consumer, said in a statement (via Deadline). “That’s a testament to all of you. There’s no reason this all can’t continue – especially with the launch of HBO Max right around the corner. To that end, we’ve decided to make some fundamental adjustments in how we work.”
The TV world of WarnerMedia has been hit by fears of COVID-19, however, as the studio has suspended production of 70 of its series, including the seventh season of The Flash, the fifth and potentially final season of Lucifer and more. The studio’s statement reads as follows:
“With the rapidly changing events related to COVID-19, and out of an abundance of caution, Warner Bros. Television Group is halting production on some of our 70-plus series and pilots currently filming or about to begin. There have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on any of our productions, but the health and safety of our employees, casts and crews remains our top priority. During this time, we will continue to follow the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control as well as local officials and public health professionals in each city where our productions are based.”