Hollywood abandons Australia: Film and TV productions leave the country due to Covid restrictions


Hollywood abandons Australia: Film and TV productions leave the country due to endless lockdowns, border restrictions and Covid-zero premiers


Australia was once a magnet for Hollywood filmmakers hoping to escape America’s Covid crisis. 

But the country’s filmmaking Golden Age has come to an end, as film productions jump ship due to Australia’s strict lockdowns and border closures.   

According to a report by Variety, Australia’s attraction as a filming destination for Hollywood producers has ‘waned’ in recent months due to the country’s low vaccination rates and the uncontrollable spread of the Delta variant.  

Hollywood abandons Australia: Film and TV productions leave the country due to endless lockdowns, border restrictions and Covid-zero premiers. Pictured: Natalie Portman, who left Australia in August after pulling out of her film Days of Abandonment 

While filming is technically considered ‘essential work’ within Australia, many productions have struggled to navigate complicated health regulations and border closures.  

‘Juggling border restrictions, authorised worker lists and changing local rules is becoming too troublesome for large film crews,’ the report said.

In August, filming of HBO’s upcoming film Days of Abandonment was axed in Sydney after its star Natalie Portman dropped out due to ‘unforeseen personal reasons’. 

Exit: Netflix bailed on the Australian production of Melissa McCarthy's (pictured) series God's Favourite Idiot in June, after filming eight out of 16 episodes

Exit: Netflix bailed on the Australian production of Melissa McCarthy’s (pictured) series God’s Favourite Idiot in June, after filming eight out of 16 episodes 

Days later, the US-based star fled Sydney with her family shortly before new draconian Covid rules were set to be enforced. 

Netflix also bailed on the Australian production of Melissa McCarthy’s series God’s Favourite Idiot in June, after filming eight out of 16 episodes.  

Last month, Netflix also halted filmed of Chris Hemsworth’s movie Extraction 2, relocating filming from Sydney to Prague.    

'Too troublesome': While filming is technically considered 'essential work' within Australia, many productions have struggled to navigate complicated health regulations and border closures, Variety reported last month. Pictured: Chris Hemsworth

‘Too troublesome’: While filming is technically considered ‘essential work’ within Australia, many productions have struggled to navigate complicated health regulations and border closures, Variety reported last month. Pictured: Chris Hemsworth 

Insiders told Variety that the decision to change locations was due to the strict Covid lockdowns in New South Wales. 

Despite the doom and gloom, Screen NSW has remained optimistic about the future of Australia’s film industry. 

‘Contrary to the claim, there is no exodus of international films from NSW because of the current Covid-19 situation,’ a spokesman told The Daily Telegraph on Thursday.  

Australia Film boss Kate Marks meanwhile offered a pragmatic response to the local film industry’s demise, telling the publication: ‘We always knew that the global environment at some point would even out and it would become as competitive as it was pre-Covid.’ 

‘So this is not a surprise to us to see other territories opening up and coming back online and making it competitive,’ she said.  

New plan: Last month, Netflix also halted filmed of Chris Hemsworth's movie Extraction 2, relocating filming from Sydney to Prague. Pictured: Chris Hemsworth in Extraction 1

New plan: Last month, Netflix also halted filmed of Chris Hemsworth’s movie Extraction 2, relocating filming from Sydney to Prague. Pictured: Chris Hemsworth in Extraction 1 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk