With production on television series shut down for weeks thanks to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Warner Bros. Television's DC shows have taken on a bit of a different look for the remainder of their current season. With many of them not having completed their finales, other episodes are having to serve in that capacity, causing shifts in story while everything remains on hold. It sounds like when productions do resume, however, things will be very different on those shows. Television executives say that fight scenes, among other elements, will look very different going forward.
In a conference call with showrunners, executive producers and line producers on Wednesday (via Variety), Warner Bros. Television presidents Susan Rovner and Brett Paul went over the studio's general approach to preparations to return to production now that many states are starting to open back up after weeks of shutdown. While any plans are contingent on local requirements, safety measures are a major concern -- which means that close-up stunts will be impacted.
Paul specifically fight scenes, noting that "hand to hand, face to face, requiring physical contact" scenes would likely not happen, though larger stunts with at least six feet of distance might still work. Just don't expect The Flash to take on bad guys via Zoom.
"Now we want to be really clear, no one is dictating that the Flash should now talk down bad guys from his bedroom via Zoom," Rovner explained. "That would be a terrible, terrible episode of The Flash. But we are saying there are going to be very real challenges ahead, and it is not business as usual."
Those challenges will also include possible shifts to who will be on set as well. Rovner noted that they needed to consider limiting the number of guest actors and extras, going so far as to suggest that people work around crowd scenes or consider using VFX to create them instead. There's also the possibility that the use of outdoor locations will be limited, prompting productions to use show's indoor sets instead. These measures would be on top of the use of personal protective equipment for everyone on set (save actors when shooting scenes).
At this point, it's unclear when television production will start up again and the measures outlined in the call were noted by Paul to be "very much a work in progress" but, ultimately, safety is the top concern.
"Last, just please stay safe," Paul said. "We miss you all. We cannot wait for the opportunity to see you all in person again."
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