The wait just got just longer – and I mean for everything.
Netflix has officially shut down production on all of its scripted series and films – being made in the US or Canada – for at least two weeks in response to the coronavirus threat, beginning Monday 16th March 2020.
The popular streaming service said the measure was being taken “due to government restrictions and health/safety precautions.”
It’s tricky to ascertain which of Netlfix’s many scripted projects this pause will seriously affect in the long run, as the streaming service has an assortment of original films and series in production – all at different stages – at any given time. However, Deadline is reporting that Stranger Things, Grace and Frankie, Sex/Life, and Ryan Murphy’s The Prom have all been put shelved for the time being, as a result of coronavirus.
According to Deadline, Netflix is allegedly spending $17.3 billion (£14.10 billion) on original content in 2020, so a two-week hiatus (and let’s face it, it’ll be longer) isn’t going to be a cheap hiatus for the streaming service.
Disney has also confirmed that several of its major projects are being put on pause for the time being in response to the pandemic. A recent statement from the House of Mouse said that, “while there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on our productions, after considering the current environment and the best interests of our cast and crew, we have made the decision to pause production on some of our live-action films for a short time.”
The company’s statement adds that it will “continue to assess the situation and restart as soon as feasible.”
According to reports, these “pauses” will certainly affect production on Rob Marshall’s highly-anticipated live-action remake of The Little Mermaid, starring Melissa McCartney and Hallie Bailey, which was allegedly due to start production next week. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the move also shuts down production on Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings, Home Alone, The Last Duel, and Nightmare Alley. Peter Pan and Wendy, and Shrunk, for the time being.
At this stage, it is unclear whether these delays – for both Netflix and Disney – will impact release dates.
This news comes after Disney announced that it would be delaying the release dates for three of its major upcoming film releases; Mulan, The New Mutants and Antlers. The company has not yet confirmed when audiences should expect to see these in cinemas. Newcomers No Time To Die, A Quiet Place Part II and F9 have also been shelved for the time being due to coronavirus.
However, there is a silver lining for UK Disney fans – and let’s face, we’ll take as many of these as we can get right now.
The company’s highly-anticipated streaming service Disney+ is set for release in the UK on 24th March – in just ten days times. The streaming service will offer fans never-before-seen original series, films and documentaries, virtually every single Disney title ever released and even over 600 episodes of The Simpsons (as a result of the 20th Century Studios acquisition).
What I’m saying here is, if mass quarantining is well and truly nigh – and production on original content has come to a screeching halt in Hollywood – Disney, at least, has an ace up its sleeve. Thank f*ck.
Meanwhile at Warner Bros., a reported 70 TV shows, which are either in completion stages or shooting pilots for consideration later in the year, have suspended production until further notice.
So for the time being…
If you’ve been saving a particularly lengthy boxset for a rainy day binge, consider that day here.
Images via Disney, Netflix and Getty
Having worked in children's media and publishing for almost a decade, Ben is thoroughly excited to now be able to swear in stories and features. He is such a big fan of Disney and Horror films that he started an LGBTQ+ podcast called 'Once Upon A Scream'. His mum listens. You can contact Ben at [email protected] Twitter: @PulsfordBen / Instagram: @thebenmidlerFollow