This weekend, crew were sent home from the project, which is based at the UK’s Pinewood Studios. The studio confirmed to us today that a two-week hiatus is planned. The movie began lensing back in February.
Kay Cannon is directing the musical feature, which stars Camila Cabella as Cinderella, Billy Porter as the Fairy Godmother, Nicholas Galitzine as the Prince, and Minnie Driver as Queen Beatrice. Missy Elliott, Pierce Brosnan, and Romesh Ranganathan are also in the cast, as is James Corden, whose Fulwell 73 banner is producing.
Universal confirmed that it has also temporarily sent home the UK production team working on Jurassic World: Dominion from Pinewood.
Despite the exits, Pinewood reiterated today, “The Pinewood Group is continuing to follow guidance set out by the government, and the studios remain fully operational”.
Warner Bros, Leavesden, which has seen movies including the new Batman and Fantastic Beasts go on hiatus, commented today, “At the moment, Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden will remain open and operational. We are continuing to monitor the situation closely and will post any updates on our website.”
Film and TV production in the UK appeared to be holding out for as long as possible as the spread of Covid-19 became more prolific in recent weeks, but the dominoes began to topple today. On the TV side, we revealed this morning that Netflix’s The Witcher became the first major UK show to halt production, followed swiftly by BBC series Peaky Blinders and Line Of Duty.
Alongside limitations on public gatherings, which the UK government is expected to put in place to a degree this week, the issue for film production is also the travel restrictions being imposed on a global basis. The U.S. extended its travel ban to include the UK and Ireland this weekend, while the UK has advised against citizens travelling stateside during the pandemic in all but essential circumstances. U.S. citizens remain free to travel between the two countries but a nervousness over whether this will continue to be the case has seen many fly home from jobs in Europe.
Andreas Wiseman contributed to this report.