Amazon, Netflix Planning to Restart Production in France Despite Coronavirus Challenges

Aaron Epstein/Amazon
Aaron Epstein/Amazon Studios

France is already starting to see movie and TV production return even though the country continues to experience a higher COVID-19 mortality rate than the United States.

Amazon Studios and Netflix are reportedly planning to re-start TV production in France as early as July, according to Variety. Feature film production is slated to resume even earlier, with two films from Pathé slated to start shooting in June.

Neither Amazon nor Netflix has said when they will resume shooting in the U.S. Hollywood production remains at a virtual standstill in the U.S. as the major studios work with individual state governments on establishing safety protocols.

Universal is reportedly taking a tentative step forward with a low-budget Blumhouse horror movie that will shoot on the backlot. But the studio hasn’t announced a time frame for the project, which will cost $6.5 million, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

France is still wrestling with the Chinese coronavirus, including recent flare-ups that have forced the country to close certain schools that had only begun to re-open. President Emmanuel Macron has come under fire for his handling of the crisis, with critics singling out a shortage of masks, ventilators, and other key equipment.

France’s COVID-19 mortality remains stubbornly high at more than 15 fatalities per 100 confirmed cases, according to Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center. The U.S. has a rate of 6 fatalities per 100 cases.

Variety reported Monday that the Amazon’s high school series Voltaire, Mixte will start shooting in early July in the south of France while Netflix will resume production on Arsène Lupin in September due to talent availability.

Pathé will begin shooting the movies Eiffel and Adieu Monsieur Haffmann in the Paris area in June.

Unlike Hollywood, the French entertainment industry receives state funding. France’s government has earmarked funds to help certain movie and TV shoots that had to be postponed due the coronavirus.

While Netflix production in the U.S. is still in limbo, the streamer has already resumed production on a limited basis overseas, including in Iceland and South Korea.

New Zealand recently gave the greenlight for movie and TV shoots to begin again, as have Poland and the Czech Republic. France is expected to do so later this week, according to Variety.

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