Even as the film industry grapples with restarting production keeping the rules of social distancing in mind, Zendaya has teamed up with actor John David Washington and Euphoria creator Sam Levinson to film a movie during the lockdown, which is now ready for release. The actress shared the first look from the movie, titled Malcolm and Marie on her Instagram page.
Little is known about the film at this point beyond the title, other than a report that states it has "echoes of Marriage Story, while resonating a number of social themes that the world is experiencing right now."
The idea for the project came after Zendaya Coleman and Levinson had to shut down production on season 2 of Euphoria back in March. As is to be expected, the filming of the movie was fraught with complications, and the cast and crew had to take great care to avoid the spread of infection.
Malcolm and Marie was filmed between June 17-July 2 at the Caterpillar House, an environmentally conscious glass architectural marvel in Carmel, CA - all compliant with WGA, DGA and SAG-AFTRA approvals and medical safety protocols.
The people working on the shoot, which was funded by Zendaya, John David Washington, Levinson, and producer Kevin Turin, had two weeks to complete the project in compliance with safety protocols. The cast and crew underwent quarantine before filming, and rehearsals had to be carried out in the open to allow for social distancing. The use of air conditioning and heating was also kept to a minimum.
To further avoid unnecessary contact, the performers had to look after their own wardrobe and mics, while food and transportation schedules were coordinated by small groups, with extra time set aside for sanitizing the equipment. Video chats were also extensively used by the director and the rest of the crew where face-to-face interactions needed to be avoided.
The elaborate precautions taken by the production appear to have safely seen the cast and crew through the filming process. Going forward, the methods used by Malcolm and Marie to follow social distancing rules could set a useful precedent for other studios looking to restart production.
Of course, it will only be a small subset of Hollywood films and tv shows that will be able to use similar methods for filming, where only a single location is used and actors and set pieces are kept to a bare minimum.
The truth is, the tactics used to film Macolm and Marie cannot be applied to large scale productions that are the lifeblood of the entertainment industry. Those require multiple exotic locations, scores of actors, and hundreds of workers operating on set to bring movies and shows to life onscreen.
For now, Zendaya and Washinton's upcoming film can be celebrated as a small step forward for the entertainment industry. Aside from Malcolm and Marie, the two will also be seen in major new films, with Zensdaya appearing alongside Timothée Chalamet in Denis Villeneuve's Dune, while Washington plays the lead in Christopher Nolan's Tenet. This news comes from Deadline.