Baz Luhrmann Halts Elvis Biopic Production After Star Tom Hanks Tests Positive for Coronavirus

Tom Hanks revealed this week that he and his wife, Rita Wilson, have tested positive for the coronavirus, which they contracted while in Australia. Hanks was in the country to shoot Baz Luhrmann's upcoming Elvis Presley biopic, and pre-production has been halted in the wake of Hanks' diagnosis.

"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)," a Warner Bros. spokeperson said in a statement," via IndieWire. "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 movie began production in January and is scheduled for an October release. Hanks will star as Elvis' longtime manager Colonel Tom Parker and Austin Butler was cast as Elvis. Maggie Gyllenhaal and Rufus Sewell are set to play Elvis' parents, Vernon and Gladys Presley, and Australian actress Olivia DeJone was cast as Priscilla Presley. It is currently unknown whether the virus has affected any other members of the cast and crew.

Hanks confirmed his and Wilson's diagnoses in a social media post on Wednesday night.

"Hello, folks. Rita and I are down here in Australia. We felt a bit tired, like we had colds, and some body aches. Rita had some chills that came and went. Slight fevers too. To play things right, as is needed in the world right now, we were tested for the Coronavirus, and were found to be positive," the actor wrote. "Well, now. What to do next? The Medical Officials have protocols that must be followed. We Hanks' will be tested, observed, and isolated for as long as public health and safety requires. Not much more to it than a one-day-at-a-time approach, no?

"We'll keep the world posted and updated," he concluded. "Take care of yourselves!"

Hanks and Wilson's son Chet Hanks shared an update on his parents in an Instagram video in which he said that his parents are "not worried" about their diagnosis.

"Yeah, it's true. My parents got Coronavirus," the 29-year-old told his followers. "Crazy. They're both down in Australia right now because my dad was shooting a movie down there but I just got off the phone with them. They both are fine, they're not even that sick."


"They're not worried about it, they're not trippin' but they're going through the necessary health precautions obviously," he continued. "But I don't think it's anything to be too worried about. I appreciate everyone's concern and the well wishes but I think it's all going to be alright but I appreciate it and just, everybody stay safe out there. Much love."

Photo Credit: Getty / Axelle/Bauer-Griffin