As the film exhibition industry grapples with the challenges of trying to open cinemas worldwide as the coronavirus pandemic continues to intensify in some areas, the film making industry likewise has been steadily making progress toward launching new productions or finishing those that were interrupted by quarantine. Warner Bros. in particular is approaching the production start-dates for several of its biggest films, which means resuming work on Matt Reeves’ The Batman and the yet-unnamed third Fantastic Beasts movie.
In order to encourage adherence to COVID-19 safety protocols, however, Warner Bros. is taking an interesting step. According to Deadline, the company has established an “anonymous reporting mechanism” in Europe for its productions, “so that cast and crew can alert senior managers if they witness colleagues breaking COVID-19 safety protocols during production.” Even co-stars will be able to anonymously report one another if someone’s behavior is endangering public safety.
Obviously, a company like Warner Bros. has all the reason in the world to want to encourage adherence to the rules, from liability to the simple fact that it needs to get these films finished if it wants to recoup the budgets being spent on them. According to Kevin Trehy, Warner Bros. executive vice president of physical production, the company has hired additional “safety consultants” to help make the company into “our own strictest police force” for enforcing safety protocols.
Of course, even aside from the ongoing pandemic, films like Fantastic Beasts 3 come with their own entire array of competing problems for Warner Bros. to wade through. The future of that entire series seems quite murky at a time when franchise creator J.K. Rowling has created an online firestorm with her anti-transwoman commentary, which has led to criticism and denouncements from the likes of Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Fantastic Beasts’ Eddie Redmayne. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, considering the domestic violence allegations against both Johnny Deep and actor Ezra Miller.
Which is to say, even if Warner Bros. does get these productions going again, expect to hear plenty more about the challenges facing Fantastic Beasts 3 in particular.