Between canceled international premieres and general movie-going anxiety, the novel coronavirus already had Hollywood in a tailspin—but no one was prepared for a dang national treasure to be diagnosed with COVID-19.
This evening, Tom Hanks announced that he and wife Rita Wilson have been diagnosed with the coronavirus. The couple are in Australia, where Hanks is starring as famed music manager Colonel Tom Parker in Baz Luhrmann’s as-yet-unnamed Elvis Presley biopic. Also cast are Rufus Sewell and Maggie Gyllenhaal, as well as Austin Butler as Elvis.
According to a statement sent out via Twitter, the two started feeling ill—”a bit tired, like we had colds, and some body aches”—and were tested to “play things right.” Ultimately, they tested positive.
— Tom Hanks (@tomhanks) March 12, 2020
Deadline, which broke the news, also published a statement issued by Warner Bros., the studio behind the film: “We have been made aware that a company member from our Elvis feature film, which is currently in pre-production in The Gold Coast, Australia, has tested positive for COVID-19 (coronavirus).
We are working closely with the appropriate Australian health agencies to identify and contact anyone who may have come in direct contact with the individual. The health and safety of our company members is always our top priority, and we are taking precautions to protect everyone who works on our productions around the world.
The individual who tested positive for COVID-19 is currently receiving treatment.”
The burgeoning pandemic’s spread has made for a busy week in entertainment news. In addition to the cancelation of South by Southwest in Austin and the postponement of Coachella here in Southern California, just this evening the NBA announced that the entire league is going on indefinite hiatus.