As municipalities around the world begin the process of reopening their economies following shutdowns caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic, British Columbia has announced a plan that could see TV and film production return to the city by the middle of the summer, provided COVID-19 transmission rates remain low. The provincial government today announced plans to gradually return to normal amid the pandemic, beginning with smaller gatherings (six or fewer) being allowed starting this weekend and parks being opened beginning on May 14th. As they begin the process of gradually reopening, British Columbia still says that there are no clear plans for when large crowd gatherings like sporting events and concerts might resume.
The plan, at least as it stands now, puts TV and film production on a schedule that could see a return to action right around the time the Greg Berlanti-produced "Arrowverse" shows on The CW usually begin filming their new seasons in July. While Comic-Con International in San Diego has been cancelled for 2020, its mid-July date usually came just after a week or so of filming on shows like The Flash and Supergirl, allowing the network to show limited sizzle reels and make some announcements during Comic-Con panels.
Last week, a story came out that outlined some of the precautions Berlanti and other producers are planning on taking when filming is allowed to resume, including reworking love scenes, fight scenes, and other sequences that involve close physical contact. While some TV shows might be able to get away with telling their stories while characters wear protective masks and mirroring the real world, the shared DC Comics "Arrowverse" would present a problem there, in that the scientific minds on The Flash ought to be able to cure a respiratory virus pretty quick, and replacing COVID-19 with something else in the script would run the risk of trivializing the pandemic.
The season finales for many of The CW's shows, including Charmed and The Flash, are coming earlier than expected after production had to be halted in mid-March, weeks or even days away from the end of production on several series including the 15-year veteran Supernatural. Pilots like Walker, Texas Ranger and Superman and Lois would have gone into production in March to be screened for media and investors at May upfronts, but never got in front of the cameras before the pandemic cleared production schedules.
More details on the plans to reopen Vancouver will be related in the coming weeks, as early steps hopefully see success.
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