Coronavirus outbreak: Dilip Kumar self-isolates, Met Gala pushed, production of Avatar sequels halted

The coronavirus outbreak has severely impacted the entertainment industry worldwide.

FP Staff March 17, 2020 16:42:16 IST
Coronavirus outbreak: Dilip Kumar self-isolates, Met Gala pushed, production of Avatar sequels halted

The coronavirus pandemic has brought the world to a standstill with the number of confirmed cases increasing at a rapid pace.

Follow our LIVE updates here.

Its rapid spread is causing heavy losses to the entertainment industry with public places shut and the gathering of crowds in a space discouraged. Film festivals, movie screenings and releases, promotional events, and shoots have been cancelled or indefinitely postponed.

Many high-profile celebrities like Tom Hanks, Idris Elba, and Game of Thrones actor Kristofer Hivju have also contracted the virus and are currently in isolation.

Here is a look at the latest updates.

Dilip Kumar, 97, self isolates as precautionary measure

Dilip Kumar on Monday said he is under "complete isolation and quarantine" as a precautionary measure against the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The 97-year-old actor shared a health update on Twitter, adding his wife, actress Saira Banu, is ensuring he does not contract any infection.

Here is his tweet

The actor appealed to his fans and followers to protect themselves and others by staying indoors as much as possible.

Last week, Banu revealed Kumar was recuperating from a "severe backache." She said they had to consult the doctors at the Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai, and the actor was doing better.

Dharma Productions suspends operations

Karan Johar's Dharma Productions on Monday announced it has suspended all administrative and production work in view of the coronavirus spread.

In a brief statement posted on the banner's official Twitter account, the company said they had decided to take this step to "minimise the risk of exposure".

Here is the statement

Dharma's statement comes a day after various film bodies in India including Federation of Western Indian Cine Employees (FWICE), Indian Film & Television Directors' Association (IFTDA), and Producers Guild of India decided to put shootings of films, TV shows, and web series on hold from 19 March to 31 March.

Former Bigg Boss contestant Anup Jalota to be isolated for two days

Veteran devotional singer Anup Jalota on Tuesday said he is in isolation at a Mumbai hotel as a preventive measure in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The 66-year-old singer, who was in Europe for a concert, landed in Mumbai early morning today, was soon taken to a hotel in suburban Andheri. He also shared a selfie in which one can see him with a mask.

Here is the tweet

A spokesperson for the singer said Jalota is in isolation for two days.

"Anup ji hasn't gone for coronavirus test. He is alright. He is in isolation for two days for formalities because he has just arrived from Europe tour including UK and Germany," his spokesperson said in a statement.

Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively donate $1 mn to hunger relief organisations 

Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively has donated $1 million to food banks amid the coronavirus outbreak. The actors made donation to two hunger relief organisations — Feeding America and Food Banks Canada.

Here is Reynolds' tweet encouraging more people to donate

Other Hollywood celebrities who have urged people to donate to Feeding America include Justin Timberlake, Natalie Portman, Ben Affleck, Vanessa Hudgens, Alan Cumming, Gigi Hadid, Bella Hadid, Josh Gad and Nick Lachey.

Universal Pictures to make movies available in theatres and online on same day

Universal Pictures will make its movies available at home on the same day they are released in theatres worldwide, beginning with the DreamWorks Animation film Trolls World Tour - which opens in the US on 10 April, writes Reuters.

The decision, announced by NBCUniversal, is a response to changing consumer behaviour as the coronavirus spreads. It upends the traditional practice of keeping a movie exclusively in theatres for what is typically a 90-day window before releasing it on other platforms.

NBCUniversal said that by Friday, recently released films in the US, including The Hunt, The Invisible Man, and Emma, which will be made available from sister companies Sky and Comcast and on a variety of on-demand services. The suggested price will be $19.99 in the US for a 48-hour rental, and the equivalent price elsewhere.

Amitabh Bachchan's Marathi film Ab Anni Cd to be re-released

Amitabh Bachchan's Marathi film Ab Anni Cd, which was released last week, is not running in the theatres anymore owing to the coronavirus outbreak. The film will now release later.

The decision was taken after the shutdown of cinema halls in several regions, including Delhi, Kerala, and Maharashtra.

"What we need to concentrate on is the safety which should be the priority. This will have to be a collaborative effort by all of us not only the entertainment field but includes every field to be home and stay safe so that we can fight against coronavirus by not spreading it but by ending it," Akshay Bardapurkar, producer of the film, said to Mirror.

Met Gala postponed, says host Anna Wintour

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Anna Wintour. Image from Twitter

One of the biggest nights in fashion, the Met Gala, has been postponed owing to the coronavirus outbreak, host Anna Wintour said Monday on the official website of Vogue.

The editor-in-chief of the magazine dropped the news into the bottom of a post she wrote endorsing Joe Biden for the Democratic presidential nomination in which she excoriates President Donald Trump's handling of the crisis, reports The Associated Press.

As for the gala, it will not be held on its usual date, the first Monday in May, owing to the “unavoidable and responsible decision by the Metropolitan Museum to close its doors,” she said.

The exhibition this year, 'About Time: Fashion and Duration,' would trace the history of fashion from 1870 to the present in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the museum.

The Met itself announced last Thursday it was closing “until further notice” after two employees showed symptoms of the virus.

The museum will remain closed through 4 April, a museum spokesperson said Monday in an email, adding "all programs and events through 15 May will be canceled or postponed.”

Production on Avatar sequels, Uma Thurman's Suspicion, Matrix 4, Saturday Night Live, and others suspended

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A still from Avatar. Image via Twitter

The shooting of the upcoming Avatar sequels were also cancelled in New Zealand. However, the VFX work will still continue, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The long-delayed sequels were expected to be complete by the end of this year. Avatar 2 is currently scheduled to be out on 17 December, 2021 followed by the other three in December 2023, December 2025, and December 2027.

Production on Uma Thurman-starrer thriller Suspicion and Keanu Reeves-starrer Matrix 4 was suspended by the makers, citing health concerns owing to the outbreak. The shoot of Saturday Night Live, which is filmed in front of a live audience, as well as that of Fargo season 4, were also halted.

Chris Martin, John Legend and others live-stream concerts

Coldplay frontman Chris Martin on Monday brought cheer through songs for fans after he announced an Instagram Live performance. The official page of Coldplay put out the video of the live performance as a post on Tuesday.

The singer was live with his fans for around 30 minutes, performing some of his hits, including 'A Sky Full of Stars' and 'Trouble', and telling interesting stories about the tracks.

Later, John Legend also took to Twitter to express his praise for Martin's idea, and decided to follow the thread with a live stream from his personal account.

(With inputs from agencies)

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