Premier’s push to resume Luhrmann’s Elvis movie
THE Queensland Government is lobbying to resume production on Baz Luhrmann's embattled Elvis film on the Gold Coast as they map out the return of the dormant sector.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Screen Queensland along with Queensland Health were developing a screen industry COVID safe plan that would allow cameras to roll across the state.
The Courier-Mail understands the plan would address travel restrictions and quarantine requirements that pose a major issue for international productions such as Elvis, which requires cast and crew travelling into Queensland from overseas who would not be exempt from the restrictions.
Luhrmann's blockbuster was among the first productions to be shut down at Village Roadshow Studios after star Tom Hanks, who was set to play Elvis's manager Colonel Tom Parker, tested positive to coronavirus in March during pre-production.
Crew members were told at the time that production would be paused until at least August.
"While the global pandemic may have forced productions into hiatus, the Queensland Screen industry has still been active - doing what they do best, creating and developing until productions can recommence," Ms Palaszczuk said on Thursday.
"As well as focusing on local productions, we've also been working to ensure major international productions can return to the State.
"We're working closely with Baz Luhrmann and his production team to recommence filming of the new "Elvis" movie at Village Roadshow Studios on the Gold Coast.
"We want to ensure that this can happen as soon as possible while making sure that the cast and crew can operate safely."
"Screen Queensland and Queensland Health are also currently developing a screen industry COVID safe plan that will be released shortly, paving the way for the whole sector to get rolling cameras again and crew back to work on sets."
In March, Luhrmann said he had a "passionate conviction" to film the Elvis movie on the Gold Coast.
During lockdown, Screen Queensland established a Queensland Screen Industry Task Force and announced a $3.3 million COVID-19 support package to support Queensland writers and producers and businesses.
Cameras will subsequently roll on the first two productions this month - romantic comedy This Little Love of Mine in Cairns and the second season of The Bureau of Magical Things on the Gold Coast - which Ms Palaszczuk said would together create 225 jobs and inject $10 million into Queensland's economy.
The Cairns production was part of the Government's Far North Queensland Screen Production Strategic Plan designed to grow the industry in the region.
Producer Steve Jaggi, who made teen film Swimming For Gold in Brisbane last year, said the film was led by a female creative team and was targeted at a female audience.
"It has been a challenging year for the screen sector, and we feel fortunate to be heading into production on this feature," he said.
The third season of ABC drama Harrow is also expected to resume in Brisbane, having been days away from completion when lockdown began.
Star Ioan Gruffudd returned home to Los Angeles and travel restrictions are understood to pose a problem for the production.
Originally published as Premier's push to resume Luhrmann's Elvis movie