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More celebrities test positive for virus, productions shutter, and the entertainment industry expects to lose billions

3 years 11 months 2 weeks ago Tuesday, March 17 2020 Mar 17, 2020 March 17, 2020 6:08 AM March 17, 2020 in News
Source: Variety

The entire world is feeling the effects of coronavirus and Hollywood's brightest stars are not immune. 

Idris Elba is the latest celebrity to test positive for COVID-19. 

The British actor told fans he was tested over the weekend.

Elba said he did not show any symptoms but decided to get tested after learning he was exposed to someone who'd tested positive for the illness.

The actor is now in quarantine. 

Kristofer Hivju, best known for playing the formidable, bearded Tormund on “Game of Thrones,” has also tested positive for coronavirus.

Hivju revealed the diagnosis in an Instagram post, saying that he is currently self-quarantining with his family in Norway.

View this post on Instagram

Greetings from Norway! Sorry to say that I, today, have tested positive for COVID19, Corona virus. My familiy and I are self-isolating at home for as long as it takes. We are in good health - I only have mild symptoms of a cold. There are people at higher risk for who this virus might be a devastating diagnosis, so I urge all of you to be extremely careful; wash your hands, keep 1,5 meters distance from others, go in quarantine; just do everything you can to stop the virus from spreading. Together we can fight this virus and avert a crisis at our hospitals. Please take care of each other, keep your distance, and stay healthy! Please visit your country's Center for Disease Control's website, and follow the regulations for staying safe and protecting not just yourselves, but our entire community, and especially those at risk like the elderly and people with pre-existing conditions. @grymolvaerhivju #fightcorona #solidarity #takecare #folkehelseinstituttet Thanks to @panoramaagency

A post shared by Kristofer Hivju (@khivju) on

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, who were both diagnosed with the virus last week, have been released from an Australian hospital and are now in self-quarantine at their home. 

Hanks and Wilson were in Australia for pre-production work on a film about Elvis Presley. Hanks is set to play Presley's manager, Colonel Tom Parker, in the film directed by Baz Luhrmann.

Production on the project is currently suspended.

Meanwhile, the entertainment industry is reeling from the financial fallout caused by the spread of novel coronavirus.

Movie and television productions have shut down, theaters and cinemas have closed, and red carpet premieres and concerts have been canceled or pushed back indefinitely. These abrupt moves have resulted in layoffs and a lot of workers staring at an uncertain future, one in which they won’t have a regular paycheck.

Festivals such as SXSW and Tribeca have been canceled, screenings for potential film buyers have been nixed, and cameras have stopped rolling. With the industry in limbo, some producers are turning their attention to scripts they can get in shape and productions they can ready for when life returns to normal.

Eric B. Fleischman, the producer of “Sleight” and CEO of Defiant Studios told Variety Magazine, “It’s hitting everyone hard, but I’m trying to be optimistic.”

“I’m hopeful that once things resume, there will be a lot of pent-up demand and business will boom again.”

Other companies are trying to find new revenue streams. 

David Garcia, a director and producer who runs an indie production company called Between Pictures LLC, is hoping to pick up work doing web content or working for local news broadcasts.

“I’m trying to pivot,” said Garcia. “We have no choice. We have to hunker down and try to make something happen.”

Towers says she’s one of the lucky ones. She made good money and put some aside. But she’s worried about other people on crews, such as production assistants, who don’t have a financial cushion. Towers hopes that the unions and guilds can come up with a way to extend some financial assistance.

The Hollywood Reporter says the industry is expected to lose at least $5 billion due to the outbreak. 


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