Jurassic World: Dominion returns to set, studio denies reports of filming delays
Unconfirmed reports alleged several crew members had tested positive, but Universal assures production is still on track.
Jurassic World: Dominion
The cast and crew of Jurassic World: Dominion have officially returned to finish filming this prehistoric sci-fi blockbuster, currently in Day 5. Despite unconfirmed reports that multiple members of the production tested positive for COVID-19, the studio says there are no new production delays at this point.
On Thursday, The Sun published a report alleging "several of the crew" tested positive for the novel coronavirus. A rep for Universal Pictures did not deny these rumors outright, but told EW in a statement on Friday, "Any reports indicating that Jurassic World: Dominion has halted production are categorically untrue. The production is headed into its fifth day of shooting today, and we’re thrilled to be back in front of the camera on this incredible project."
The lot at U.K.'s Pinewood has multiple checkpoints before anyone is able to arrive on the actual set, according to a source close to production. Per current guidelines, if anyone were to have tested positive for coronavirus, they would not have been able to reach the set and would have been quarantined.
Dominion, the third installment in the Jurassic Park sequel trilogy, halted production at Pinewood Studios in the U.K. months ago due to the on-going situation with the pandemic. The film is now the first major Hollywood release to return to work, this time with more safety precautions. Colin Trevorrow, who returns to direct Dominion after helming the first Jurassic World, spoke with Empire about the hurdles that entails.
“For many of us, Dominion was already the biggest creative challenge of our lives, before the lockdown,” he said. “The shooting schedule really worked to our advantage – the first four weeks we put to film were mostly sequences with dinosaurs in them. So that allowed us to get a head start on VFX and workshop some of the newer elements without the pressure of a looming deadline."
“I’m confident our guidelines will keep us safe,” Trevorrow added. “The hard part will be constructing a creative environment within all the precautions. Once the cameras roll, we have to forget our world and live in the world of the movie. That may take some practice.”
Howard, who spoke with EW's SiriusXM show before flying to set this month, promised "we would never go back to work if we didn’t feel safe."
She added, "What feels really right about it is that there is this daily conversation, daily communication with all of the actors, with the key crew members and just us consistently being like, 'Okay, how are we going to do this? How are we going to do this safely?’ and not making compromises that could undermine someone’s health."
The Hollywood guilds, including the DGA and SAG-AFTRA, jointly released safety guidelines for the industry at large about how TV and film crews can return to work. Though cases in various U.S. states, including California, continue to rise exponentially.