While most TV and film productions have been halted during the COVID-19 pandemic, one found ways to work that didn’t put anyone’s safety at risk.
According to a new report in Deadline, Zendaya and “Tenet”/”BlacKkKlansman” star John David Washington spent two weeks working on a top-secret project with “Euphoria” creator Sam Levinson.
The new project, “Malcolm & Marie”, was shot from June 17 until July 2 at the Caterpillar House, described by Deadline as “an environmentally conscious glass architectural marvel” in Carmel, California, with the filming “all compliant with WGA, DGA and SAG-AFTRA approvals and COVID-19 safety protocols.”
When film and TV production was shut down due to the pandemic in mid-March, Zendaya received word that production on the second season of her HBO series “Euphoria” was being pushed back indefinitely. She called up Levinson and asked if he could write and direct a movie during quarantine.
As he worked on the script, Deadline reports, he envisioned Washington for the role he was writing; when contacted, he eagerly agreed to participate.
As one might expect, filming was complicated. Utilizing a “lean crew,” every member of the team quarantined for two weeks before entering the 33-acre property, and remained quarantined together for the duration of production.
“For two weeks, cast and crew wore masks, social distanced, had their own separate dwellings with individual HVAC units, took hikes, rehearsed in the parking lot, and ate in designated spots food prepared by a chef who had been quarantined with the group,” notes Deadline. “No one was allowed to leave the property.”
Deadline also details the massive list of safety instructions the cast and crew had to follow during the two-week shoot, ranging from physical distancing protocols to meal preparation to PPE to additional time built into the schedule for sanitizing, with no more than 12 people on set at any given time.
While the plot of “Malcolm & Marie” is being kept under wraps, Deadline cites whispers that “the movie has some echoes of Netflix’s ‘Marriage Story’, while resonating a number of social themes that the world is experiencing right now.”
Zendaya confirmed the movie’s existence by posting a photo of herself and Washington on Twitter, writing “Malcolm & Marie” in the caption.
Malcolm & Marie pic.twitter.com/99RWzgLFbD
— Zendaya (@Zendaya) July 8, 2020
Among the excited Twitter users were sibling music duo Chloe x Halle:
— chloe x halle (@chloexhalle) July 9, 2020
No word yet on when or where viewers will be able to see the new pandemic project.