EXCLUSIVE: Count Sony’s Camila Cabello Cinderella movie as one of the more notable major studio features safely returning to production after the pandemic shutdown. Cinderella, directed by Kay Cannon, is resuming filming outside of London, with some low-level shooting commencing this week as the production felt safe and organized enough to move ahead. Filming is expected to continue through the end of September.
Among those cast members returning for physical production are Cabello as Cinderella, Minnie Driver as Queen Beatrice, Nicholas Galitzine as Prince Robert, Idina Menzel as the Stepmother, and Pierce Brosnan.
I understand that robust safety protocols are in place including widespread and extensive testing which took place during pre-production and will continue on during filming, with safety training seminars, social distancing, contact tracing, thorough daily disinfection, and adherence to jurisdiction mandates and local guidance in place. COVID-19 testing occurs daily, and the bulk of what I hear is left to shoot is largely exteriors in several towns and castles. The trickier, large crowd scenes had been shot before COVID-19.
Actors and crew are staying separately in apartments. Rehearsals have already been underway with production crew and actors wearing masks (the latter, of course, except when filming). There have been no intermingling among production departments, and there’s been less crew-member presence on the set during filming. When it comes to the pic’s catering, there’s no longer a buffet style set-up, but rather individually wrapped and pre-boxed food to ensure safety.
Cinderella joins such notable Hollywood feature productions currently shooting abroad as 20th/Disney’s Avatar sequels in New Zealand, Marvel’s Shang-Chi at Fox Studios Australia, Universal’s Jurassic World: Dominion at Pinewood Studios outside London, and Sony’s Uncharted and Warner Bros/Village Roadshow’s Matrix 4 both in Berlin.
Major studio productions on California soundstages have largely been stalled due to rising cases in the state, and fierce talks between unions and studios over COVID responsibility protocols. As such, the majors have looked to Canada and overseas to get their movies restarted and their theatrical pipeline running again. While Canada dictates that production crews and actors must quarantine for 14 days in the country before working, in the UK that is not the case as film crews are deemed essential business workers. Only tourists to the UK must quarantine for 14 days.
Independent productions, which have followed guild protocols, have had an easier time getting off the ground in the California compared with studio productions, i.e., Invisible Narratives and Michael Bay’s thriller Songbird which is shooting in L.A., and Sam Levinson’s Zendaya-John David Washington movie Malcolm & Marie which we first told you shot secretly in Carmel, CA between June 17-July 2 at the Caterpillar House following strict safety guidelines.
Cinderella, currently scheduled for release on February 5, 2021, is a stylized musical re-imagining of the classic Cinderella story. Cannon also wrote it, and the pic is produced by Leo Pearlman, James Corden, Jonathan Kadin, Shannon McIntosh. Billy Porter, Corden and John Mulaney also star; Corden also wrote the story and is producing through his Fulwell 73 label.
The pic reps the feature acting debut for the platinum-selling and Grammy-lauded Cabello, whose music is integral to the film.