‘Lockdown’: Everything to know about the coronavirus heist movie
NBC is releasing it’s COVID-19 inspired ensemble comedy Connecting on Oct. 8th. COVID-19 isn’t only getting a TV sitcom – it’s also getting a major motion picture. Doug Liman is directing the pandemic inspired film Lockdown, starring Anne Hathaway & Chiwetel Ejiofor. The film went into production last week.
Production started in late September in London, but Deadline announced some big casting names. According to the publication, Ben Stiller, Lily James, Stephen Merchant, Dulé Hill, Jazmyn Simon, and Mark Gatiss are expected to join the cast. They also confirmed the actors are in advanced talks with producers, but it’s likely they’ll sign-on.
Writer Steven Knight & Lockdown’s producers kept story detail under lock & key until production. Now, there are finally plot details. According to Deadline, Lockdown is set against the backdrop of COVID-19 featuring a fighting couple, played by Hathaway & Ejiofor. The couple must set aside their differences to pull off an elaborate jewelry heist at one of London’s most famous jewelry stores, Harrods.
Lockdown is one of the fastest movies to go from concept to production. Knight wrote the film for Storytellers Productions, and Liman took on the project shortly after. The production company’s producers P.J. van Sandwijk & Michael Lesslie approached them to fast-track the film and go from concept to production in a ninety-day window.
According to Stephen Fellows’s Film Data & Education, it can usually take a movie 455 days to go from the first announcement to production, so fast-tracking is an understatement for Lockdown. The timeline does not necessarily include the time spent on a film before its first announcement. So it could be even longer to go from concept to production.
Lockdown’s quick turnaround makes it an ambitious project. Heist movies are, usually, an ensemble cast, and only having your leads cast going into production doesn’t bode well for the film. Still, there’s as yet no distribution plan for the film, and it went into production a week ago – giving Lockdown plenty of time to round out the cast.
Liman directing credits include Edge of Tomorrow, Mr & Mrs. Smith, and Swingers. He has dabbled in many different genres, including a Jason Bourne movie. Lockdown comes before his previously announced space movie with Tom Cruise. Liman fully intends to shoot the project in space with Elon Musk & his company SpaceX’s help.
Lockdown is a heist movie rom-com, and Liman has experience in the genres. Liman directed the 2005 action-comedy Mr. & Mrs. Smith, and the movie is a perfect reference point for Lockdown. Mr. & Mrs. Smith is not a heist movie or a rom-com, but Lockdown will have the action & comedy from it – all that’s left is the romance part.
A source for Deadline couldn’t confirm the budget for Lockdown but estimated it’s under $10 million. AGC Studios is fully funding the project. The production is shooting under strict pandemic protocol in London.
We can’t say we are excited about Lockdown. Its premise seems as if they are trying to shoehorn in the pandemic, and it won’t be a huge factor. At least with NBC’s Connecting the show is filmed as if characters are on zoom calls with each other. It’s a gimmick, but that’s kind of the point. Lockdown is trying to capitalize on the pandemic to grab media attention as the film set & shot during COVID-19.