While film and television sets around the world had to hit the pause button earlier this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, one movie was able to film completely in secret and abide by all safety precautions just a few weeks ago. This isn't just a random indie movie, it's an original film from Euphoria creator Sam Levinson starring A-listers Zendaya (Spider-Man film series) and John David Washington (Tenet). Titled Malcolm & Marie, Deadline reports that the film "has some echoes of Netflix’s Marriage Story, while resonating a number of social themes that the world is experiencing right now." You can check out the first photo from the film below, posted to Twitter by Zendaya herself.
According to the trade, production on the movie took place from June 17 through July 2 at a location called the Caterpillar House in Carmel, California and was completely compliant with the Writer's Guild, Director's Guild, and Screen Actor's Guild, receiving approvals from each group and sticking to their safety protocols in case of COVID-19. Planning for the production began months ago though, and has been in the works since mid-March.
The trade notes production on Euphoria season 2 was forced to stop production on Monday, March 16 due to the virus with Zendaya calling Levinson at some point during the quarantine about writing and directing a film to be shot during the downtime. Levinson reportedly wrote the script for the movie in just six days and could think of no one else to pair with the actress in the film than the BlacKkKlansman star.
Malcolm & Marie pic.twitter.com/99RWzgLFbD— Zendaya (@Zendaya) July 8, 2020
Health and safety procedures resulted in the cast and crew of the film having to arrive on location for a two week quarantine period before shooting could begin. Production on the film saw crew members filling multiple roles with co-Executive Producer Harrison Kreiss apparently responsible for "tracking scripts, stocking craft services and standing in for lighting."
Levinson, Washington, Zendaya, and a few others bankrolled the film themselves, with no official word yet on where it might land for distribution. Though many films and shows will no doubt be able to emulate the precautions taken by the Malcolm & Marie production, the amount of sanitization, caution, and small amount of cast and crew will not be feasible for blockbuster productions that Hollywood is used to.
Check back here for further updates on Malcolm & Marie and film production in the time of COVID.