Shortly after President Trump started addressing the nation on COVID-19 Wednesday night, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson dropped a statement announcing they contracted the Wuhan virus while in Australia for pre-production on Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis biopic. In the United States, where the outbreak is only beginning to affect our everyday lives, their diagnosis quickly put the pandemic into perspective.
On Wednesday alone, the NBA suspended its season and the NCAA announced its men’s and women’s tournaments will be played without spectators. By Thursday, the NHL and MLB had followed suit, with the hockey league suspending its season and baseball canceling spring training and pushing back Opening Day. The NCAA subsequently elected to cancel its tournaments outright.
Professional sports aren’t the only entertainment industry victims of the virus—Hollywood is reeling. From production to theatrical releases to Broadway, the creative process involves large gatherings in close quarters. In the music industry, concerts and tour dates are being canceled as well.
Major release dates have been pushed. Productions have been suspended. Broadway is closed. To capture the scope of the pandemic’s impact on entertainment, here’s a roundup of major disruptions.
- The much-anticipated release of Disney’s live-action “Mulan” has been postponed
- “No Time To Die,” the forthcoming James Bond film, will be released in late November instead of April 10
- South by Southwest was called off, cancelling film premieres slated to take place at the conference
- Set to open Memorial Day Weekend, “Fast & Furious” installment “F9” starring Vin Diesel will not open for another year, in April 2021
- Just eight days before its release date, the opening of the John Krasinski-directed “A Quiet Place II” was postponed
- Other films include “Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway,” “Antlers,” “New Mutants,” “The Lovebirds,” and “Blue Story” were pushed back as well
- In California, Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom recommended all gatherings of 250 or more people be canceled
- Broadway is closed as of 5 p.m. on Thursday
- The Cannes Film Festival, set for May, may face cancelation
- Coachella was pushed to October
- Stagecoach was also pushed to October
- ViacomCBS, NBC, A&E, and WarnerMedia scrapped their Upfronts
- The next “Mission: Impossible” halted production in Venice
- Apple put production of “The Morning Show’s” second season on hiatus
- Production of “Russian Doll’s” second season has been delayed
- “The Bachelorette’s” planned cast trip to Italy was canceled
- Production of “Survivor’s'” 41st season is postponed
- Production of “Amazing Race’s” 33rd season has been suspended
- Film festivals are being canceled around the country
- Production on “Riverdale” is off
- Production on “Little America” and “Rutherford Falls” is delayed
- Production stopped on Disney+’s first Marvel Cinematic Universe project “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier”
- Nickelodeon’s Kids Choice Awards have been postponed
- Major network shows are taping without their in-studio audiences, from late night programs like “The Tonight Show” and “The Late Show” to daytime fare like “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and “The View”
- “Making the Band” auditions were called off
- Disneyland will be closed as of March 14
- The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, set for May 2, will be held at a future date instead
- In addition to the many cancelations of major music tours, Jerry Seinfeld and Adam Sandler canceled dates on their stand-up tours
- Last but certainly not least, Hollywood faces intense disruption from the fallout of the outbreak in China, where the industry counts on ticket sales for a substantial chunk of its profits, and theaters have been closed for weeks
If there’s any good news for the entertainment industry, it’s that quarantined consumers will have plenty of time to stream content over the next few months. That bodes well for the new platforms expected to launch this spring, from Quibi to Peacock to HBO Max. Demand for existing streamers will, of course, be heavier as well, with the country stuck inside until the virus is contained.