Happy New Year!
In this case, this week’s “Over the Weekend” is more like “Over the Past Two Weeks” because as is the case every year — pandemic or no pandemic — Hollywood has mostly been shut down over the past few weeks. Agencies haven’t been trying to put together projects for their clients, and there hasn’t been much news of such, but now it’s a new year, and everyone who was forced to lay dormant in 2020 is gonna try to make a play.
Unfortunately and despite it being a new year, the top story is still about the COVID-19 pandemic and the rising number of cases across the country, and especially Los Angeles County that always has so much production in normal times but has had to cut back and instill strict COVID protocols. Before the holidays, the L.A. Department of Public Health (LADPH) and union SAG-AFTRA both issued warnings about the growing numbers and advised pausing production.
A number of television series have delayed their return to production, which normally would have started back up today, and Deadline has put together a handy list of the delayed shows.
Sony Picture Television‘s The Goldbergs for ABC and Netflix series Atypical have both delayed restarts for a week to start on January 11, the date where game shows Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune will resume filming, the former with its first interim guest host Ken Jennings. As far as the Disney Television, ABC and 20th Television shows affected by the delays, remaining on holiday hiatus until January 18, are Grey’s Anatomy, Stations 19, American Housewife, Black-ish, Mixed-ish, and Rebel, all for ABC; This is Us for NBC; 9-1-1, 9-1-1: Lone Star, and Last Man Standing for FOX; the FX series and limited series, American Crime Story: Impeachment, American Horror Story and Mayans M.C.; The Orville and Love, Victor for Hulu; and Disney+‘s Big Shot.
Universal Television has delayed return to production for most of its shows with NBC shows Mr. Mayor, Kenan, and Good Girls holding off until next Monday, as well as Netflix‘s Never Have I Ever, while Brooklyn Nine-Nine won’t start back up until January 18.
All of Warner Bros. Television series are going to hold their starts off for an extra week, including The CW‘s All American, CBS shows Bob Hearts Abishola, B Positive and Mom, Fox’s Cll Me Kat, You on Netflix, and Showtime’s long-running series Shameless. The Ellen Degeneres Show also delayed its return to January 11.
CBS Studios has also delayed restart of production on its series, NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, Seal Team and the CBS All Access series Why Women Kill, as well as Disney+’s Diary of a Future President, for a single week.
There is some positive news to report like the fact that HBO Max has renewed His Dark Materials for a third and final season, and that Screen Gems’ new Resident Evil relaunch has also wrapped filming, the latter planning to be released into theaters on September 9. The latest entry in the video game franchise is directed by Johannes Roberts of 47 Meters Down fame.
That’s a wrap in Raccoon City. 🎬
diREcted by Johannes Roberts pic.twitter.com/q5mmQxjFQo
— Sony Pictures (@SonyPictures) December 28, 2020
Not much in terms of casting news, for reasons mentioned above, but before the holiday break, Channing Tatum signed on to co-star with Sandra Bullock in Lost City of D for Paramount Pictures, as reported by Variety. Bullock is producing the film for her Fortis Films production company along with 3dot Productions‘ Liza Chasin, and it will be directed by Adam and Aaron Nee. Bullock will play a romance novelist who gets stuck on a book tour with her cover model, as played by Tatum, with a screenplay by Oren Uziel from an idea by Seth Gordon, who also produces through his Exhibit A Films.
A friendly reminder that the New Year is a great time to subscribe to Below the Line‘s Production Listings that keeps you updated on where and when production is starting up so you can line up work for the year.
“Virtual Production” was one of the key television and film phrases introduced in 2020, mainly thanks to its use on the Lucasfilm/Disney+ series The Mandalorian, and that helped it get into Gizmodo‘s rundown of new developments in 2020. Although this method of making films and television with real-time VFX using LED walls was introduced by VFX pioneers Industrial Light and Magic, many other VFX studios are following suit, building stages and providing the VFX environments for such productions. We’ve written quite a bit about virtual production here at Below the Line, and we expect that this will continue well into the third decade of the 21st Century.
As far as the failing box office goes, Warner Bros‘ Wonder Woman 1984 remained #1 over the New Year’s Day weekend but took a steep drop to just $5.5 million, down 67% from its Christmas Day opening weekend of $16.7 million. Universal’s animated film The Croods: A New Age jumped back up to 2nd place with $2.2 million, which meant that Paul Greengrass‘ Western, News of the World, starring Tom Hanks, had to settle for third place and $1.7 million in its second weekend. Either way, it doesn’t look like the box office will be recovering any time soon and with a minimal amount of wide releases this month, that’s not going to change for a while.