The COVID-19 pandemic has continued on for several months now, and nearly every facet of everyday life has changed as a result of it. The film and TV world is certainly no exception, with projects being met with the dual challenges of restarting production while complying to social distancing guidelines, as well as bringing content that can resonate with the current moment. One of the first high-profile projects to do so has been Songbird, a Michael Bay-produced film described as a "pandemic thriller" that is set four years into the COVID-19 crisis. Entertainment Weekly recently revealed the first look at the film, including a teaser poster and multiple stills, all of which you can check out below.
The film follows Nico (Riverdale's K.J. Apa) and Sara (Descendants' Sofia Carson), two star-crossed lovers who have never been able to meet in person due to COVID-19 lockdown protocols. In the world of the film - which is set in 2024 - the virus has now mutated into a significantly-accelerated disease called COVID-23, forcing the infected to stay in quarantine camps.
“It's a dystopian, scary world, but it's a romantic movie about two people who want to be together, but they can't,” director and co-writer Adam Mason explains in the article. “It’s Romeo and Juliet, but they’re separated by her front door and by the virus.”
The film made headlines when it attempted to start production earlier this year -- first for trying to film while the real-life lockdowns were in place, and for being hit with a "do not work" order from SAG-AFTRA. Nevertheless, the film still boasts an ensemble cast that includes Demi Moore, Bradley Whitford, Paul Walter Hauser, Craig Robinson, Peter Stormare, and Alexandra Daddario, and was able to be made with strict safety measures in July. Production reportedly lasted 17 days, with socially-distant zoning, frequent testing, and small crews being implemented.
“We were kind of trepidatious, but still very much amped and excited to get to work,” Apa explained. “It was really eerie, but the way we shot was every actor’s dream.”
And while the film's turnaround might seem a little jarring to some -- especially as the real-life pandemic continues to rage on - Carson believes that the film's message will make people want to watch it.
“Even though this is the pandemic thriller and it's suspenseful and terrifying, the heart of a story is hope,” Carson explained. “It’s the hope that is represented in Sara's character and the love between Sara and Nico. In our never-ending dark night, the songbird sings a song of hope.”
What do you think of the first look at Songbird? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
Songbird does not currently have a release date.