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Jurassic World: Dominion follows Avatar, becomes latest blockbuster to resume production amid pandemic
Jurassic World: Dominion is stomping back into production after four months of temporary shutdown caused by the global coronavirus pandemic. According to a new report from Deadline, the dino-centric blockbuster (set for release next summer, although that could obviously change) is hoping to resume shooting at Pinewood Studios in the United Kingdom by "early to mid-July."
To make that happen, Universal is working closely with the British Film Council and America's Hollywood to invoke strict safety precautions, which are reportedly costing the studio an extra $5 million. That said, you can't really put a price on a person's health and the studio is said to be pulling out all the stops with massive testing, a private medical facility, COVID training for cast and crew, hand sanitizer stations, on-set doctors and nurses, safety signs, isolation booths, and designated "Green Zones." Moreover, everyone (other than performing cast members) will be required to wear masks.
"Anyone with symptoms will be isolated immediately before being sent home,” a Universal production executive told Deadline. "We want to make sure that we are going above and beyond the national protocols to create a safe environment. Cost isn't our main concern now: it's safety. We will take direction from our medical team, but we're confident that with the staggered scheduling and zones of talent and crew, along with a system of contact tracing, we can move forward with limited delay in production."
A two-week pre-production period is set to kick off next week, with Chris Pratt (Owen Grady) and Bryce Dallas Howard (Claire Dearing) flying to the UK shortly in order to begin a government-mandated fortnight of quarantine. They'll also have to be tested before leaving the United States. No mention was made about the rest of the cast, which includes Jurassic Park OGs Sam Neill, Laura Dern, and Jeff Goldblum. BD Wong, Daniella Pineda, Omar Sy, Justice Smith, Jake Johnson, Isabella Sermon, Mamoudou Athie, DeWanda Wise, Dichen Lachman, and Scott Haze are also set to co-star.
All eyes are on Dominion right now. Along with Avatar, it is one of the largest Hollywood movies to start ramping up production amid the pandemic and may very well pave the way for other major projects (The Witcher Season 2, The Batman, Fantastic Beasts 3) to resume and/or begin their shoots in the United Kingdom.
The film is still scheduled to hit theaters on June 11, 2021. Colin Trevorrow (who has reportedly "been instrumental in planning and getting buy-in from cast and crew") returns to the director's chair for Dominion, filming from a script he co-wrote with Pacific Rim: Uprising scribe Emily Carmichael.
"It's the start of a new era," producer Frank Marshall said of the project last month. "The dinosaurs are now on the mainland amongst us, and they will be for quite some time, I hope."
(SYFY WIRE and Universal Pictures are both owned by NBCUniversal)