The Batman, Jurassic World 3, and Shang-Chi May Struggle to Resume Filming Despite Restrictions Lifting

With almost 2 milion confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. so far and over 110,000 deaths, Americans who have been isolating in order to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus are eager to get back to "normal" -- but even once restrictions on travel, assembly, and businesses are lifted, it will be difficult for huge film productions like Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and The Batman to get back up and running. Whether it is local regulations, company policy, or insurance concerns, getting the huge numbers of people together that it requires to make an effects-heavy blockbuster is going to be a complicated process, and as much as studios are going to be desperate for big hits, they are likely going to play it safe.

The obvious strategy would be to roll out the post-shutdown "new normal" on TV shows and smaller productions first, allowing filmmakers and studios an opportunity to try things that they can then scale up to the larger productions. Even that plan is a bit deceptive, though, since the practical realities of a larger shoot are very different.

In a breakdown of the challenges facing productions, TheWrap reports that "studios are still determining how implementation of these protocols will be carried out on projects of various sizes, particularly blockbusters like Jurassic World: Dominion, The Batman, and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Insurance and the specific protocols for various shooting locations in other states and countries are also issues that are still to be resolved."

American studios that shoot in other countries will also have to deal with immigration and local regulations, which will not be the same as in the U.S. With the federal government champing at the bit to get the economy back in gear, American studios might find that the rules are ostensibly loosening, while the populous states hardest hit by the pandemic continue to be more cautious about where and how to open things up. Internationally, Americans are likely to be seen as a potential public health risk since the country has had more confirmed cases and deaths than any other nation. Figuring out how to navigate that will be a challenge (it's likely that Americans will simply have to self-quarantine for two weeks before they can begin working).

And all of that is before the potential impact of another wave of cases caused by a week of nationwide demonstrations, often cramped shoulder to shoulder with other protesters. It is not guaranteed that the events of the past week will contribute significantly to the pandemic, but a spike of about 20,000 new cases were reported this week. The two-week incubation period that many people go without symptoms means this bump would coincide with Memorial Day gatherings, most of which didn't include thousands of people and a lot of shoving.

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