Among the industries most significantly affected by the ongoing health crisis has been the film industry, with all facets from top to bottom being ground to a halt. With movie theaters worldwide shut down, it has resulted in film studios either delaying the release of upcoming films or halting the production of future projects entirely. The result has been the unfortunate furlough of employees at numerous studios, including the likes of Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm. As the world looks towards preparing for the slow re-opening of state and nationwide businesses, the question remains as to when production can return to various large-scale film projects. As for Disney's properties, CEO Bob Chapek addressed the matter in the company's quarterly earnings call.
Among the topics discussed during the Walt Disney Company's second-quarter earnings call, CEO Bob Chapek delivered an update on the potential return to large-scale film production. Chapek's comments were shared by Aaron Couch of The Hollywood Reporter on Twitter:
When will large-scale movies like Marvel resume production? Bob Chapek: "We have no projections of when we can do that, but we will be very responsible in terms of masks and the same types of procedures we would hope to implement into our parks."— Aaron Couch (@AaronCouch) May 5, 2020
WHAT THIS MEANS
First and foremost, it is comforting to hear that the health and safety of Disney's employees are the top priority according to CEO Bob Chapek. As a result, this means waiting to return to large-scale film production only when the consensus is that it is safe to do so, and furthermore, to do so with the appropriate health protection measures implemented. As it pertains to the upcoming projects for both Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm, the development of films or live-action series will likely only go so far as can be done through remote work. For example, She-Hulk staff writer Dana Schwartz recently revealed that scriptwriting for the Disney+ series has come to a close. But as for filming the series? That timeline likely still remains in the air. So long as Bob Chapek is uncertain of a return date to film production, the principal photography phase of future projects will likely remain in limbo.