Tom Hanks: Elvis Presley biopic shuts down production after actor catches coronavirus

It’s currently unknown whether delay will affect film’s release date

Jacob Stolworthy
Thursday 12 March 2020 09:42 GMT
Coronavirus: Trump suspends Europe-US travel

Warner Bros has shut down production on the forthcoming Elvis Presley biopic after actor Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson were tested positive for coronavirus.

The new Baz Luhrmann film, in which Hanks is set to play Presley’s manager Colonel Tom Parker, started pre-production in January and is set to be released in October 2021.

However, a spokesperson for the studio said in a statement: “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).

“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.”

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood actor Austin Butler will play the musician in the new film.

Oscar-winning actor Hanks revealed he had the coronavirus on his Instagram.

His message read: “​Hello, folks. Rita and I are down here in Australia. We felt a bit tired, like we had colds, and some body aches. 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.

“Well, now. What to do next? The Medical Officials have protocols that must be followed. We Hanks’ will be tested, observed, and isolated for as long as public health and safety requires. Not much more to it than a one-day-at-a-time approach, no?

For most people, the coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. According to the World Health Organisation, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover.

Find a full list of everything that’s been cancelled or postponed in the wake of the outbreak here.

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