Filming of Will Smith’s anti-slavery thriller interrupted due to Covid cases

Begun in stormy conditions, the production ofEmancipation, devoted to the escape of a slave during the Civil War, was put on hold for five days in the context of the diffusion of the Delta variant in the United States.

His Emancipation is not for now. Filming of Will Smith’s upcoming film devoted to the escape of a former African-American slave has been put on hold due to the identification of several cases of Covid within the production team, Deadline reported on Sunday. “A small number of people tested positive” at Covid-19 would have been counted among the staff, evokes the American media. A mere drop among the hundreds of people mobilized on the film’s construction site, this contaminated grain of sand inevitably brought the cogs to a standstill of this ambitious historic production produced by Antoine Fuqua (Equalizer, The Seven Mercenaries) for Apple.

Interrupted for the duration of the week, the realization ofEmancipation had just started in the middle of July, after a month of delay caused by the late change of the filming site. Originally supposed to be filmed in the state of Georgia, the production – which includes Will Smith – decided in April to relocate to Louisiana in reaction to the passage of a new electoral law restricting access to the vote in this former segregationist state in the southern United States. Georgia’s New Election Laws Recall Voting Restrictions Adopted At End Of Reconstruction (period from 1865 to 1877 which followed the Civil War, editor’s note) to prevent many Americans from voting ”, were indignant Will Smith and Antoine Fuqua in a joint statement released in the spring.

More and more shoots disturbed by the variant

While we are still a long way from the radical halts of several weeks, or even months, such as the global film industry may have experienced in 2020, this brief stop illustrates the growing effect that the Delta variant of Covid-19 produced in the countries where it is distributed. In the United States as in Europe, the upsurge in the number of new positive cases for the virus has multiplied the micro-stoppages of filming in recent weeks. House of the dragon , the new series that is being prepared in the universe of Game Of Thrones , thus experienced two days of interruption in July, after the discovery of a positive case for the virus. And at the beginning of June, the decidedly endless filming of the next one Impossible mission had, too, had to take a hiatus due to a positive PCR test, six months after Tom Cruise was angry about non-compliance with sanitary rules by part of the film’s production. The evolution of the Delta variant is closely watched by the major studios, which fear more than anything new restrictions. “We can expect to see some release date changes if this were to intensify during the fall and revenue should start to suffer.”, commented the American analyst Jeff Bock, in an article published Wednesday by Variety .

Announced last year in the midst of the Black Lives Matter wave, Emancipation will feature the star of Prince of Bel-Air, ofIndependence Day and of Men in Black as Peter, an American immortalized in 1863 in one of the most widely circulated photographs of former slaves from the Civil War era. Baptized The Scourged Back , his portrait – captured in a northern military camp where Peter had just completed a long and terrible flight – exposes his back bristling with deep scars. He had obtained them from the plantation which held him captive and from which he had managed to escape during the American Civil War before joining the Union himself. “It was the first viral image of the brutality of slavery with global reach”, commented the director Antoine Fuqua for Deadline, last summer. Presented as an action thriller closer to a Apocalypto that of a 12 Years a Slave , Emancipation does not yet have a release date.


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