Producer Michael Bay’s pandemic thriller Songbird was expected to be one of the first Hollywood projects to enter production in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the film has encountered a new complication. Songbird has been hit with a “Do Not Work” order by the actors union SAG-AFTRA.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the union issued the order after serious concerns were raised about the unclear safety precautions being employed on-set. Until Bay completes the signatory process, SAG-AFTRA is banning its members from participating in the movie.
The union writes, “The producer of the picture entitled Songbird, has failed to complete the signatory process and is therefore not signed to any applicable SAG-AFTRA agreement. As such, SAG-AFTRA members are hereby instructed to withhold any acting services or perform any covered work for this production until further notice from the union.”
Songbird is a joint effort between Bay and production companies Invisible Narratives and Catchlight Films. Adam Mason (Blood River) is directing based on a script he co-wrote with Simon Boyes. The cast includes Demi Moore, Craig Robinson, Paul Walter Hauser and Peter Stormare.
A great many film and TV productions across the world have been suspended due to the pandemic. While Los Angeles County is allowing movie studios to resume production, a recent surge in new COVID-19 cases in California has some questioning whether it’s safe for cast and crew members to resume work. Meanwhile, the release dates of upcoming summer blockbusters like Tenet continue to be pushed back, causing AMC Theaters to push back its planned reopening date. AMC also responded to public pressure by reversing its policy of not requiring guests to wear face masks.
It’s unclear how long Songbird’s production will be shut down. The film currently has no release date.
Jesse is a mild-mannered staff writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket by following @jschedeen on Twitter.