Marvel Halts First-Unit Shoot on ‘Shang-Chi’ as Director Destin Daniel Cretton Self-Isolates

     March 12, 2020


[Updated March 16: Thankfully, director Destin Daniel Cretton has tested negative for the coronavirus, but this past week still had a powerful impact on him. We’ve added his latest Instagram post to the bottom of this story, and it stresses the importance of social distancing at this time, so please read it. Our original story is below.]

Marvel Studios has decided to temporarily halt first-unit production on Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings as director Destin Daniel Cretton awaits the results of a coronavirus test, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The comic book movie is currently shooting in Australia, and while Cretton hasn’t shown any symptoms, he decided to get tested for COVID-19 because he has a newborn baby. Rather than continue working with the first-unit while he awaits the result, he decided to self-isolate per his doctor’s recommendation — a movie that Marvel whole-heartedly supported.


Image via Lionsgate

Disney and Marvel sent a note to the film’s crew that was obtained by THR:

As many of you know, Destin, our director, has a new born baby. He wanted to exercise additional caution given the current environment and decided to get tested for Covid-19 today. He is currently self-isolating under the recommendation of his doctor. While he waits for the results of the test, we are suspending 1st unit production in an abundance of caution until he gets the results this coming week. Second unit and off production will continue as normal. We will reach out to everyone by Tuesday for the latest update.

This is an unprecedented time. We appreciate everyone’s understanding as we work through this.

Second-unit filming on Shang-Chi is expected to continue as planned, so the film isn’t shutting down, per se. It’s also not the only movie shooting in Australia to be affected by the coronavirus pandemic, as Warner Bros. halted pre-production on its untitled Elvis Presley biopic after star Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday.

Shang-Chi stars Simu Liu as the titular martial arts master, and is slated for release on Feb. 12, 2021. Cretton previously directed the indie sensation Short Term 12 before re-teaming with Brie Larson on a pair of studio dramas — The Glass Castle and Just Mercy. He also serves as an executive producer on Michael Mann‘s upcoming HBO Max series Tokyo Vice starring Ansel Elgort.

We here at Collider will be holding out hope that Cretton’s test comes back negative, though if, God forbid, it does not, it’s important to keep in mind that many people who become afflicted with the coronavirus are expected to make a full recovery. For the latest update from Hanks and Wilson, click here.


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Last week Friday, I decided to be tested for the Corona virus. I was working in close proximity with some people who had potentially been exposed, and because Nik and I have a newborn at home, I wanted to be as safe as possible. During my weekend of isolation away from my family, I had a lot of time to ponder this interesting moment in history that our second child was born into, a time full of opinions and division, where scientific truths are debated and brushed off as political spins. But in the midst of this storm, while staring up at a spot on my hotel ceiling that I swear looked exactly like a bunny, I could see something really quite beautiful happening. People all around the world are beginning to realize how connected we are, how vulnerable we are, how much we need each other to survive. I am happy to say that my test came back negative, but I will continue to be even more careful in the days ahead. Because if you believe in good science, and I do, we still have a mountain to climb together. No matter what you believe or how serious you think this problem is, please err on the side of safety and concern for those more vulnerable than you, and remember that having no symptoms doesn’t mean you’re not a carrier. Please stay hopeful, please stay humble, please stay home. Social distancing is an act of love for yourself, your family, and for every person on this planet. Sending all of you our love from Sydney, Australia.

A post shared by Destin Cretton (@destindaniel) on

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