He directed “Contagion,” and now director Steven Soderbergh will help lead Hollywood’s recovery from the unprecedented global coronavirus crisis. The indie auteur has been selected by the Directors Guild of America to lead a committee to help determine when productions can resume once the pandemic begins to subside.
The DGA announced that the Soderbergh-led committee will consult with leading epidemiologists and will collaborate with Hollywood’s various guilds and unions to determine when entertainment industry workers will be able to safely return to work.
“While we don’t have an answer as to when production will resume, we are taking steps to address how we can be safe when it does happen,” DGA president Thomas Schlamme and national executive director Russell Hollander said in a statement. “A national board committee, spearheaded by Steven Soderbergh, and with members from all categories, has been appointed to do a thorough examination of the issues at hand, and to make recommendations to the Board. The committee is consulting with top epidemiologists in the field, and we will collaborate with our sister guilds and unions and the employers as we put together a comprehensive guide to help us all return safely to work.”
The duo also said that a second national board committee would be appointed to focus on promoting the safe return of theater chains, whose livelihoods are at significant risk due to widespread closures.
Coronavirus has sparked a renewed interest in “Contagion,” which has consistently ranked as one of the most popular library films on the market since the coronavirus crisis was classified as a global pandemic. Several of the film’s cast members, including Kate Winslet, Matt Damon, and Laurence Fishburne, recently filmed educational PSAs about social distancing and other safety advice.
Renowned epidemiologist Ian Lipkin, who served as medical consultant on “Contagion,” revealed that he had tested positive for the coronavirus in late March. He later told CNBC that it would be important to invest in the United States’ public health infrastructure, science, and global surveillance to ensure that another coronavirus-level pandemic does not happen again.
IndieWire is keeping track of all of the entertainment industry’s events and projects that have been impacted by the outbreak and is also tracking the industry’s ongoing events and positive happenings during the pandemic.