The Flight Attendant HBO Max limited series, starring and executive produced by Kaley Cuoco, was just a couple of days into shooting Episode 6 of its eight-episode order when in early March it shut down production due to the fast-spreading coronavirus.
“We are looking to get back up and running at the end of August,” The Flight Attendant executive producer/co-showrunner Steve Yockey said Wednesday during the show’s panel during CTAM’s virtual press tour. “We are all feeling very positive about it but of course the health and safety of our cast and crew are the top priority. But assuming everything goes to plan, you will be seeing The Flight Attendant on HBO Max this fall.”
Yockey outlined some of the safety measures the series’ production team and studio Warner Bros TV are taking “to make sure that everything is going to be ready for people to come back in terms of both providing tonnage of PPE that’s necessary for us to safely do our jobs, combined with social distancing, rewrites to certain elements of the script, and Rapid on-site testing,” he said. “All of the crew and the cast will be participating, but especially actors who are performing every day or who are going to be in closer scenes will be tested every day in the run-up to that.”
The script changes have not been significant.
“We’ve had to adjust some physical details of the scripts for safety but haven’t had to change the story which we feel very lucky about,” Yockey said, adding that “Luckily we had finished all of our international filming before the shutdown,” so the remaining production was all New York-based. Bangkok is one of the international locations the show shot scenes in.
The Flight Attendant production team has “worked very very hard to put together a plan that is making everyone feel confident that we can do this, and that we can make everyone be safe,” Yockey said. “We wouldn’t be going back if we didn’t think that we would keep everyone healthy.”
The Flight Attendant co-star Zosia Mamet praised the production for their efforts.
“There has been so much communication – not only from an emotional level — do you have any questions, do you have any concerns, are you afraid, we want to make sure you are comfortable — but also from a totally logistical level of, are you allergic to latex, are you allergic to anything involving PPE, do we need to get something specific for you,” Mamet said. “It has been so incredibly thorough and made me feel not only safe but also taken care of.”
The Flight Attendant is a story of how an entire life can change in one night. Cassie (Cuoco) is a flight attendant who wakes up in the wrong hotel, in the wrong bed, with a dead man – and no idea what happened. Rosie Perez, Michiel Huisman, Colin Woodell, Merle Dandridge and Griffin Matthews also star.
The dark comedic thriller, exec produced by Cuoco, Yockey, Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, Meredith Lavender and Marcie Ulin, is based on the novel by Chris Bohjalian.
It was envisioned as a limited series as its eight-episode span will cover the entire book and resolve the mystery. But that may not be the end of The Flight Attendant.
“We have plans for another season,” said Cuoco, who originated the series after spotting the book and falling in love with it.
Added Yockey, “It is a limited series, and we have plans baked in… We have a great producing team, we are a wonderful group of storytellers. I think we have everything in place should the show move forward after this initial mystery.”