Baz Luhrmann determined to resume production on Elvis biopic ‘as soon as the time is right’

Baz Luhrmann is determined to resume production on his Elvis Presley biopic “as soon as the time is right”.Filming on the highly-anticipated movie shut down in Australia after leading man Tom Hanks, who plays the music icon’s manager Colonel Tom Parker…

Baz Luhrmann is determined to resume production on his Elvis Presley biopic “as soon as the time is right”.

Filming on the highly-anticipated movie shut down in Australia after leading man Tom Hanks, who plays the music icon’s manager Colonel Tom Parker in the flick, was diagnosed with the coronavirus.

The Oscar-winning actor is now recovering in an Australian hotel, alongside wife Rita Wilson, who also has the virus, but director Baz has refused to re-open the set, with him telling fans that it is “not the moment to be resuming production on the film”.

“Please know this is in no way a reflection on our commitment to make this movie here in Queensland. In fact, we are not even taking our sets down, simply locking up the creative space over the next few days,” he explained in a statement shared on social media. “All going well, we have a passionate conviction to be back here on the Gold Coast, picking up where we leave off as soon as the time is right.”

It’s not yet known if the October 2021 release date of the biopic, which is set to focus on Presley, played by Austin Butler, and his relationship with his manager, will be affected.

Many films have halted production or had their release date postponed to the Covid-19 outbreak. On Thursday, it was announced that animated sequel Minions: The Rise Of Gru would no longer be released in July due to the pandemic.

Chris Meledandri, founder and chief executive of film and animation studio Illumination, said that in response to the strict lockdown imposed on the country, he would be closing the studios indefinitely.

“This means we will be unable to finish Minions: The Rise Of Gru in time for our planned global releases,” he said in a statement.

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Paul Schrader blasts producers for shutting down movie due to coronavirus

Paul Schrader has blasted producers for shutting down filming on The Card Counter after an actor was diagnosed with coronavirus.The director, who wrote Martin Scorsese’s films Taxi Driver and Raging Bull, took to Facebook to complain about the situatio…

Paul Schrader has blasted producers for shutting down filming on The Card Counter after an actor was diagnosed with coronavirus.

The director, who wrote Martin Scorsese’s films Taxi Driver and Raging Bull, took to Facebook to complain about the situation, and revealed that production had been stopped five days before it was due to finish “because an LA day player had the coronavirus”.

“Myself, I would have shot through hellfire rain to complete the film. I’m old and asthmatic, what better way to die than on the job?” he wrote in a brief post on the social media site.

And when asked by one follower about the safety of the cast and crew on the set of the film in Biloxi, Mississippi, Schrader simply replied: “It’s a good death.”

The crime drama is being produced by LB Entertainment, in association with HanWay Films, and distributed by Front Row Filmed Entertainment.

In addition to directing, the 73-year-old wrote the script for The Card Counter, which stars Oscar Isaac as a professional gambler called William Tell, who takes a young man, played by Tye Sheridan, under his wing to help him get revenge against a mutual enemy on the casino circuit.

Willem Dafoe and Tiffany Haddish are also starring in the movie, and it’s understood that the actor who tested positive is not one of the main cast members.

Schrader’s film is not the only Hollywood production to be affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. Production on Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Presley movie was halted after its star Tom Hanks, as well as his wife Rita Wilson, contracted the virus, while filming on Marvel movie, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, was postponed as director Destin Daniel Cretton tested for it, although his results came back negative.

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Production on Marvel’s Shang-Chi suspended over coronavirus fears

Production on Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings has been suspended as director Destin Daniel Cretton has isolated himself amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The Just Mercy director was in the middle of filming the movie, starring …

Production on Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings has been suspended as director Destin Daniel Cretton has isolated himself amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The Just Mercy director was in the middle of filming the movie, starring Simu Liu as Marvel’s first superhero of Asian descent, in Australia when he decided to get tested for Covid-19 as a precaution. He has been advised to step away from the production and self-isolate while he awaits the results.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the movie is not shutting down entirely, and second unit and other production elements will continue working.

“As many of you know, Destin, our director, has a newborn baby. He wanted to exercise additional caution given the current environment and decided to get tested for Covid-19 today. He is currently self-isolating under the recommendation of his doctor,” a note sent to the crew on set reads. “While he waits for the results of the test, we are suspending first unit production in an abundance of caution until he gets the results this coming week. Second unit and off production will continue as normal. We will reach out to everyone by Tuesday for the latest update… This is an unprecedented time. We appreciate everyone’s understanding as we work through this.”

Liu addressed the news on social media, telling his followers, “Grateful to work for a company that is proactive, cautious and empathetic during this difficult time. Everyone is in good spirits as we continue to work towards making an incredible film.”

The coronavirus, which has infected more than 135,000 people and resulted in over 4,900 deaths, has affected a number of film productions, such as Tom Hanks’s Elvis Presley biopic, which was also shooting in Australia. The production was shut down after Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson tested positive for Covid-19 earlier this week.

On Thursday, production on Penelope Cruz and Antonio Banderas’s movie Official Competition was halted in Spain in accordance with new measures put in place by the Spanish authorities to curb the spread of the virus.

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Elvis Presley biopic halted following Tom Hanks’ coronavirus diagnosis

Production on Tom Hanks’ upcoming Elvis Presley movie has been halted after the actor and his wife Rita Wilson tested positive for the coronavirus.The 63-year-old took to social media on Thursday to tell fans that he and Rita were in isolation in Austr…

Production on Tom Hanks’ upcoming Elvis Presley movie has been halted after the actor and his wife Rita Wilson tested positive for the coronavirus.

The 63-year-old took to social media on Thursday to tell fans that he and Rita were in isolation in Australia, upon the advice of medical officials.

“Rita and I are down here in Australia. We felt a bit tired, like we had colds, and some body aches,” he wrote on Twitter and Instagram. “Rita had some chills that came and went. Slight fevers too. To play things right, as is needed in the world right now, we were tested for the Coronavirus, and were found to be positive.”

The Oscar winner was in Australia for pre-production on director Baz Luhrmann’s upcoming film about Elvis, in which Tom is set to star as the rocker’s manager Colonel Tom Parker.

However, following Tom and Rita’s diagnosis, production on the movie has come to a temporary halt.

“We have been made aware that a company member from our Elvis feature film, which is currently in pre-production in The Gold Coast, Australia, has tested positive for COVID-19 (coronavirus),” a Warner Bros. spokesperson said in a statement. “We are working closely with the appropriate Australian health agencies to identify and contact anyone who may have come in direct contact with the individual. The health and safety of our company members is always our top priority, and we are taking precautions to protect everyone who works on our productions around the world. The individual who tested positive for COVID-19 is currently receiving treatment.”

It’s unclear at this stage whether Tom’s co-stars, including Austin Butler, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Rufus Sewell, have been tested for the virus.

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Rita Wilson hits Golden Globes red carpet after glam squad drama

Rita Wilson wowed on the red carpet at the 2020 Golden Globes on Sunday night even though her glam squad was late.The actress/singer, whose husband Tom Hanks was honoured with the prestigious Cecil B. DeMille Award during the ceremony, had to rethink h…

Rita Wilson wowed on the red carpet at the 2020 Golden Globes on Sunday night even though her glam squad was late.

The actress/singer, whose husband Tom Hanks was honoured with the prestigious Cecil B. DeMille Award during the ceremony, had to rethink her preparations for the bash after the person she had hired to do her hair and make-up was very late.

“What you look like when your hair and make-up person for the @goldenglobes is one and a half hours late even though you booked him in September,” she captioned a make-up-free selfie on her Instagram page. “Will leave one hour to do hair and make-up.”

Rita later added: “Hair and make-up still not here. Trying to be zen.”

Accordingly, the star’s celebrity followers soon began commenting on her post.

“Omg I feel u (you),” wrote Julianne Moore, while Sarah Paulson insisted, “Been there and no thanks please – you look gorgeous anyway,” and Kate Bosworth added: “Oh that’s the craziest feeling, you look gorgeous anyway though.”

Yet, Rita’s posts prompted a curious Chrissy Teigen to try and dig for a little more information about the no-show stylist, as she replied, “I cannot go on until I know who, I have no life.”

The 63-year-old has not yet responded to the TV personality’s tweet.

But in spite of the last-minute drama, Rita made it to the celebration on time and looked very glamorous in a bronze sequin Tom Ford gown. Her husband Tom also wore a tuxedo from the designer, with the Hollywood couple joined by their sons Chet and Truman, as well as the A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood star’s son Colin and daughter Elizabeth from his previous marriage, on the red carpet.

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Marielle Heller never planned on making a male-led movie

Marielle Heller never thought she would make a movie about men before she saw the script for A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.The filmmaker made her directorial debut in 2015 with The Diary of a Teenage Girl, led by Bel Powley and Kristen Wiig, and …

Marielle Heller never thought she would make a movie about men before she saw the script for A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.

The filmmaker made her directorial debut in 2015 with The Diary of a Teenage Girl, led by Bel Powley and Kristen Wiig, and followed it up with Can You Ever Forgive Me?, which starred Melissa McCarthy, in 2018.

Speaking to Elle magazine, the 40-year-old admitted that she thought she was going to dedicate her career to telling women’s stories, but couldn’t resist the script for A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, which stars Matthew Rhys as a journalist who goes to interview beloved children’s entertainer Fred Rogers, played by Tom Hanks.

“I never thought I was going to make a movie about men. I’ve always thought we don’t have enough movies about women, and if I spent my whole life making movies only about women, there still wouldn’t be enough movies about women, so that’s a wonderful thing to dedicate my career to,” she explained. “And then I read this script. And I thought, ’Damn, now I have to make this movie.’

“For the same reason I want to make movies about women, I also want to make movies that help men be better men and that can be an antidote to toxic masculinity. And I think the beginning of that is so deep in Mister Rogers’s teachings—being able to admit your feelings, being able to access them, finding ways to be more connected to our humanity. And that’s what this movie was about for me.”

In the film, Rogers helps Rhys’s character Lloyd express his emotions and deal with the anger and resentment he has harboured towards his father for many years, and Heller shared that she hopes the movie will help “blast those gender roles” that teach boys to keep their feelings buried deep.

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Tom Hanks and Matthew Rhys felt pressure to do Fred Rogers justice in new movie

Tom Hanks and Matthew Rhys felt pressure from locals in Fred Rogers’s hometown to do the late children’s entertainer justice in their new movie. In A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, the Welsh actor plays Esquire journalist Lloyd Vogel, who goes to …

Tom Hanks and Matthew Rhys felt pressure from locals in Fred Rogers’s hometown to do the late children’s entertainer justice in their new movie.

In A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, the Welsh actor plays Esquire journalist Lloyd Vogel, who goes to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to watch Rogers, as played by Hanks, filming his long-running children’s TV show, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, and interview him for a magazine profile.

The cast and crew shot the film on location in Pittsburgh, where Rogers is considered a hero, and both Hanks and Rhys received warnings from locals against tarnishing the stellar reputation of the homegrown celebrity.

“Everyone in town knew we were shooting Mr. Rogers, which is kind of like playing Paul McCartney in Liverpool,” Hanks recalled on The Graham Norton Show. “I was going up in the elevator in my hotel and a Pittsburghian got on and said, ‘Mr. Hanks, how’s filming going?’ I said, ‘Pretty good thank you.’ He then said, ‘Are you enjoying your time in Pittsburgh?’ to which I replied, ‘Yeah, it’s a pretty great town’… As he got out, he turned and said to me, ‘You know we take Mr. Rogers very seriously here in Pittsburgh,’ and he had this kind of look on his face that scared the living daylights out of me!”

The Americans actor had a similar experience with a taxi driver during his time in the city.

“There was a lot of suspicion about what we were doing because Fred Rogers is revered there,” he remembered. “One driver asked what we were doing in Pittsburgh and when I explained, he said, ‘Are you trying to dig dirt on Mr. Rogers? Because I will throw you out of this moving car if you are.”

Rogers was born just outside of Pittsburgh in 1928 and returned there in 1953 to work in children’s programming. He filmed Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood there for 33 years until 2001 and passed away in the city in 2003.

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Tom Hanks had trouble slowing down speech while portraying Fred Rogers

Tom Hanks found it difficult to slow down his speech to accurately portray beloved children’s TV host Fred Rogers in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.In the new drama, the Forrest Gump actor portrays the U.S. children’s entertainer, who was the …

Tom Hanks found it difficult to slow down his speech to accurately portray beloved children’s TV host Fred Rogers in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.

In the new drama, the Forrest Gump actor portrays the U.S. children’s entertainer, who was the host of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood from 1968 to 2001, alongside Matthew Rhys as journalist Lloyd Vogel, who is assigned to profile Rogers for Esquire magazine.

Rogers famously spoke very softly and had a still, gentle presence, and accordingly, Hanks found it a challenge to adopt that style of speech.

“I had a great difficulty slowing down,” he told Renee Zellweger as part of Variety’s Actors on Actors series. “And if I was going to show you, if we were going to sit down and (watch) the movie, I would get to a point and I would say, ‘That’s my first day of shooting.’ They had been working for two weeks, and this is my first day. Compare that first day of shooting stillness and a week later.”

He admitted it took him time to truly inhabit the character and to learn to slow down after director Marielle Heller “kicked my butt just enough”.

“I’m a wiseacre and I talk a lot and I have a lot of energy and to slow down like that… How often does a director come to you and say, ‘Take more time with this’? They never say that,” the 63-year-old added, and Zellweger agreed, saying directors usually ask them to speed up.

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, which also stars Susan Kelechi Watson and Chris Cooper, hits U.K. cinemas in January.

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Tom Hanks wore Fred Rogers’ clothes in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Tom Hanks wore clothes that actually belonged to Fred Rogers for his new movie, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.The Oscar-winning actor plays the beloved American entertainer in the new movie, which is based on Esquire magazine reporter Tom Junod’s…

Tom Hanks wore clothes that actually belonged to Fred Rogers for his new movie, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.

The Oscar-winning actor plays the beloved American entertainer in the new movie, which is based on Esquire magazine reporter Tom Junod’s interview with the TV presenter in 1998.

The film’s costume designer Arjun Bhasin spoke to Fashionista about how he tried to replicate the wardrobe of Rogers, who hosted U.S. pre-school television show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood from 1968 to 2001.

Bhasin visited Rogers’ widow Joanne and gained valuable inspiration which helped him to design exact copies for Hanks to wear.

“Joanne was an incredible resource because she really led us into her home,” he shared. “We had family photos. We could talk to her directly about him. I got to rummage through his closet and look at his actual pieces of clothing.”

Bhasin was even able to borrow a few items from Rogers’ closet, such as a clip-on tie, which made filming extra special.

“Fred was such a Tom Hanks fan. So (Joanne) was very excited to let us use and borrow things. Then everything just became doubly meaningful because it was actually his,” he added.

And when it came to replicating Rogers’ iconic red cardigan – one of which is housed in the Smithsonian museum in the U.S. – Bhasin was under pressure to make sure it was just right.

“It’s so iconic in people’s minds. It’s burned into people’s consciousness, so it was important to me to make it really meaningful and honest to what it was,” he explained. “The challenge was making them look like they were worn and used and had a bit of life to them, and not have them just be new things that we manufactured for the movie.”

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Tom Hanks fought to include Fred Rogers’s morning routine in new film

Tom Hanks was determined to include details about iconic TV personality Fred Rogers’s secret morning ritual in his new film.The Hollywood actor, who stars as the late TV icon in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, took time to learn all about Rogers’s…

Tom Hanks was determined to include details about iconic TV personality Fred Rogers’s secret morning ritual in his new film.

The Hollywood actor, who stars as the late TV icon in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, took time to learn all about Rogers’s life away from the camera while preparing for the role, and met with his widow, Joanne, in an effort to get a few clues about his character.

During their discussions, Hanks uncovered an unexpected “nugget” that helped him nail the role – the fact that Rogers began each day with a glass of cranberry juice.

“Sometimes you get frustrated because you’ve found this nugget that explains the entire character, and you can’t find any place to put it in the movie,” he said during a sit down with Renee Zellweger for Variety’s Actors on Actors series. “We had one thing that I found out: I asked Joanne Rogers, ‘What did Fred drink in the morning? Did he have coffee?’ She said, ‘No, he drank hot cranberry juice.'”

Hanks then urged director Marielle Heller to somehow incorporate the simple ritual into the production.

“I said, ‘Is there any way we can get it in?’ and she said, ‘The most we’re going to be able to do is have a glass of red liquid sitting on the counter there while you’re talking on the phone,'” the 63-year-old recalled. “I said, ‘Good enough for me.'”

Elsewhere in the discussion, Hanks and Zellweger spoke about her Judy Garland biopic Judy, which covers the final months of Garland’s troubled life, and was released last month. Though he praised the actress’s performance, he wished the film spent more time tackling Garland’s issues with her appearance, especially when she was filming classic projects.

“I was disappointed that we didn’t get to see you recreate moments from The Harvey Girls or Meet Me in St. Louis, where – this is from reading that I did – she (Garland) had that negative self-image that she wasn’t the prettiest woman in the world on camera,” he commented. “And yet, she’s the only one you look at.”

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood will open in U.S. cinemas later this month.

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