Universal Pictures has suspended production on Jurassic World: Dominion as a result of the coronavirus pandemic — a costly decision, no doubt, but surely a responsible one as well.
The studio is also pressing pause on Rachel Morrison‘s boxing movie Flint Strong starring Ice Cube, and halting pre-production on a new Billy Eichner comedy from producer Judd Apatow and director Nicholas Stoller.
“Universal Pictures’ live-action feature productions will ramp down and go on hiatus beginning this weekend. The studio continues to monitor the situation closely and will make a determination on when to restart production in the coming weeks,” read a statement from the studio, whose decision follows that of many others, including Disney and Netflix.
Universal’s statement indicates a two-week break, at minimum, and you have to figure that each lost day of production on Jurassic World: Dominion will cost the studio at least $300,000 — the Hollywood Reporter’s low-end estimate that Disney will lose by shutting down similarly-sized productions such as The Little Mermaid and Marvel’s Shang-Chi. The dino-sequel, which brings back both Chris Pratt and the original cast, had been shooting in London since February, with Colin Trevorrow back at the helm.
At this time, it’s unclear whether Dominion‘s June 2021 release date will be affected by the production delay, since it depends how long the break lasts.
As for Flint Strong, Oscar winner Barry Jenkins wrote the inspirational film, which stars Ryan Destiny as Olympic boxer Claressa “T-Rex” Shields and Ice Cube as her coach.
Eichner’s untitled movie is a romantic comedy about two gay men with commitment issues who fall for each other, and as a huge fan of Billy on the Street, I can’t wait to see that one get made. That’s why it’s so damned important we nip the spread of this nasty-ass coronavirus in the bud, people! So Hollywood’s new economics — the industry could reportedly take a $20 billion hit — don’t dictate the kinds of movies it makes when the dust settles. It’s hardly death or illness, but one of the bad things that could happen down the line is that a studio could take a look at their books and say, ‘that project we were taking a chance on? We can’t make it anymore. It no longer makes sense.’ The sooner we help society get back to normal, the sooner Hollywood can get back to making the movies we’ve all been waiting for — and maybe even took for granted before this whole mess.