The paranoia triggered by the coronavirus outbreak has led to delays and cancellations of film festivals, theatrical releases and even promotional events.
The upcoming James Bond movie No Time To Die, which was set for an April 8 release, has now been pushed to November.
With the scare spreading wider in India, Bollywood releases may be affected too. Big production houses are busy with meetings to evaluate the current situation that the virus COVID-19 has brought about.
The International Indian Film Academy Awards (IFFA) announced it has postponed its three-day awards ceremony at the end of March.
“With due regard to the growing concerns around the COVID-19 virus and keeping the health and safety of IIFA’s fans and the general community at large, after consulting the Madhya Pradesh government, the IIFA management and stakeholders from the film industry, it has been decided to postpone to a later date the much-awaited weekend and awards 2020 celebrations,” said IIFA organisers in a statement.
While the full impact of the virus outbreak on show business is yet to be ascertained, stars are taking no chance. The Baaghi 3 team and the Angrezi Medium cast skipped Delhi for this reason after a number of positive cases in the capital.
According to analysts, film industries are likely to lose business worth billions of dollars.
Salman Khan, who was to travel with a large crew to Azerbaijan to shoot for his upcoming film Radhe, has cancelled the schedule. Radhe will now be shot in India, instead.
Other upcoming shoots that may get relocated include that of Takht which was to take place in Europe (likely Italy).
Akshay Kumar-starrer Bell Bottom, which was to be shot in London, may have to scout another location.
Even Vicky Kaushal starrer Ashwathama may have to delay its shoot or figure out another location.
A decision on the release dates of upcoming films will be taken after seeing responses to this week’s release Baaghi 3 and after getting feedback from the UAE, which is a large market for Bollywood.
The makers of this month’s big release Sooryavanshi are yet to make an announcement of their plans.
Even film industries in the south have cancelled their European shoots. Tharun Kishore Sudhir, the director of Roberrt, starring Darshan, had originally planned to shoot song sequences in Spain, but has now decided to cancel the Spain sequence and re-planned it to be shot in Karnataka.
Another movie that cancelled its schedules in European countries is Puneeth Rajkumar’s Yuvarathnaa, directed by Santhosh Ananddram.
It’s not only European shooting schedules that are affected. The song sequence for director Jayathirtha’s Banaras, which was to happen in Singapore, has been moved to Sri Lanka. The team, we hear, has already headed for a recce there.
Another director, whose film has been hit thanks to the coronavirus fear is Prem, the director of Ek Love Ya. Prem had planned to shoot a song either in Egypt or France. But the outbreak has led to a change of schedule and place, leading to the delay in the film’s release date.