Amazon Studios pulled the plug on a show because of COVID-19 related issues before an episode was filmed. The Banker's Wife was set to be an eight-episode series based on the bestselling novel by Christina Alger. However, the project faced several hurdles in the past year, and it was ultimately decided that it would be too expensive to make under coronavirus protocols, sources told Deadline Wednesday.
The project earned a straight-to-series order in summer 2019. Filming was set to start in March 2020, just as the world began shutting down because of the pandemic. The Banker's Wife was in the last stages of pre-production and just about to start filming, which was set to take place across five European countries. Amazon Studios executives were seriously interested in the project and held out hope to start shooting once conditions got better in Europe. However, cases continue to rise there and Amazon decided to move on from the project.
The series was set to be produced by Federation Entertainment and Sherry Marsh, who teamed up to get the screen rights to the book in July 2018. Marsh, whose credits include Pose and Vikings, will search for a new home for the project, reports Deadline. Meredith Stiehm (Homeland, NYPD Blue) wrote all eight episodes and Lesli Linka Glatter (Homeland, Pretty Little Liars) was picked to direct. Casting was not announced.
The Banker's Wife is a globe-trotting thriller that would have been very difficult to adapt for the screen during the pandemic. It centers on two women who are searching for answers after a plane crash. They discover hidden offshore accounts that put them in the middle of a huge conspiracy theory involving money laundering, politicians, terrorists, and criminals.
While many television shows have figured out how to continue working during the pandemic, some networks have decided the cost of following protocols is too much for some projects. In one case, ABC reversed its decision to air a second season of Stumptown, a crime drama starring Cobie Smulders. ABC renewed the show in May 2020 but ultimately canceled the show in September 2020 because the coronavirus delays in Los Angeles meant it would not be ready until April 2021.
In October 2020, Netflix decided against producing a fourth and final season of the wrestling comedy GLOW, deciding it would be too expensive to make. Star Alison Brie said the pandemic would also make it difficult to produce a movie wrapping up the story. "I'm a little pessimistic about it actually happening just in light of everything that's gone on this year and how difficult it is to get anything back into production with COVID," Brie told The Playlist in November. "And I'm also part of the Community cast, who's been trying to get a movie going for six years, so what I'm saying is don't hold your breath because if it does happen, it might take a minute."