Production of thriller `Poker Face` directed by and starring Russell Crowe has been halted in Australia after the Covid-19 outbreak on the set. The production is paused because of a confirmed coronavirus case among the film`s crew. A second case is under investigation, reports variety.com. The film had been shooting in and around Sydney, despite a local lockdown, and was six days away from wrapping. Crowe announced the shutdown in a series of Twitter messages.
He wrote: “Unfortunately 6 days from the end of our shoot on PokerFace we have had a confirmed positive COVID case amongst our crew and a second possible positive under further investigation by our PokerFace Covid team and NSWHealth.” He added that for the “safety of cast and crew and the wider community, the production has been immediately paused and everyone instructed to isolate whilst the situation is looked into. “We have followed strict protocols with the cast and crew being tested 3 times a week for the past 11+ weeks.”
Crowe shared: “The crew have been masked on set the whole time except for 3 individuals with medical exemptions. We feel for the crew members involved, like all the people on this show they are both very committed team players and diligent in their approach to their work responsibilities. We also feel for the wider community going through these difficult times. We hope this situation will be confined and we can be back up and running very soon.”
Filming had been taking place on location around Sydney, New South Wales, and at the city`s Fox Studios. Set in the world of high stakes poker and international finance, Crowe stars as a tech billionaire caught in a risky card game. The cast also includes Liam Hemsworth, Elsa Pataky and Wu-Tang Clan frontman RZA, a long-time friend of Crowe`s.
The production attracted local controversy by going ahead at a time when Sydney and other parts of New South Wales were under lockdown and people were allowed out of their houses only for essential reasons such as exercise, shopping and healthcare. Some of the film`s locations were only 15 minutes away from the lockdown zone.
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