Production halts on Luhrmann’s Elvis project as Tom Hanks tests positive for coronavirus

12 March, 2020 by Jackie Keast

Tom Hanks. (Photo: Dick Thomas Johnson)

Tom Hanks has tested positive for coronavirus during pre-production of director Baz Luhrmann’s untitled Elvis Presley biopic.

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Hanks is due to play Colonel Tom Parker, Presley’s lifelong manager,  in the Warner Bros Pictures feature shooting at Village Roadshow Studios in the Gold Goast. Both the actor and his wife Rita Wilson, who is also in Australia, have tested positive for the virus.

WB has issued a statement from a spokesperson: “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.”

The Gold Coast Bulletin reports Luhrmann issued a statement to cast and crew, requesting they stay home and that “all work activity on the production is cancelled and will not resume until further notice.”

The film, written by Luhrmann and long-time collaborator Craig Pearce, charts Presley’s rise to fame and his impact on the world while also delving into his complicated relationship with Parker, and also stars Austin Butler as Elvis, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Rufus Sewell as Elvis’ parents and Olivia DeJonge as Priscilla Presley. Production has been anticipated to employ more than 900 Queenslanders in behind-the-scenes roles including set construction, catering and transportation and inject more than $105 million into the local economy.

On Instagram, Hanks wrote: “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?

We’ll keep the world posted and updated.

Take care of yourselves!
Hanx!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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