Tom Hanks is heading back to the land down under, and back to work. The Forrest Gump actor will continue filming the upcoming Elvis Presley biopic in Australia after having to pause due to contracting the novel coronavirus just six months prior. Fans will remember that Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson were the first in Hollywood to contract COVID-19 that made waves across the United States as soon as news broke.
"We're back to, as Elvis liked to say, 'taking care of business!'" director Baz Lurhmann said in a statement according to PEOPLE. "It is a real privilege in this unprecedented global moment that Tom Hanks has been able to return to Australia to join Austin Butler and all of our extraordinary cast and crew to commence production on Elvis."
He continued, "I cannot emphasize enough how lucky we feel in the current climate that the state of Queensland, and Queenslanders in general, have been so supportive of this film. We thank our partners in the Queensland Government and Queensland Health for their extremely diligent process, so that we can be an example how creativity and productivity can proceed safely and responsibly in a way that protects our team and the community at large. We are all excited to start working with Tom Hanks when he is out of quarantine in two weeks."
Filming will resume on Sept. 23 and will feature Butler as Presley and Hanks as Presley's longtime manager Colonel Tom Parker. At the time when Hanks contracted the virus, he was the only person on set to have done so. "We are aware of only the one case of the coronavirus amongst cast and crew and additionally the cast member's wife," a representative of the film told the outlet at the time. "Working closely with the Queensland Health Department we have delayed our start date by approximately two weeks to allow for their full recovery."
Thankfully the couple made a full recovery and after both were forced to quarantine, they were able to return to Los Angeles, California weeks later. As soon as news broke, both kept their fans up to date on their symptoms and what they were going through since it was still so new at the time. When they made their return home, they continued to isolate away from others. Hanks says while his wife lost her sense of smell and taste accompanied by a higher fever than him, he dealt with body aches and severe fatigue.