Films and Dramas Halt Production in China Due to Coronavirus Outbreak

Due to the accelerated spread of the coronavirus outbreak, a dozen of China’s cities have been quarantined. The death toll has soared to 106 and 4,174 confirmed cases in China as of today. Aside from dampening the Lunar New Year spirit, the entertainment industry has been hit hard. Seven major films cancelled their New Year release date last week, losing billions at the box office. Many films and dramas currently in production have also been put on hold.

Donnie Yen’s New Movie to Resume Filming in November

Donnie Yen’s (甄子丹) new movie Polar Rescue <極地搜救> began its filming at Changbai Mountain prior to the Lunar New Year, and was supposed to continue after the holiday. However, with the severity of the virus outbreak, Filmko Entertainment decided to halt filming for safety and health reasons. The company tentatively plans on resuming filming again in November.

Donnie Yen said, “Though this does affect my work schedule, but the bigger picture is more important. I hope everyone is healthy and safe.”

The founder of Filmko Films Alexander Wong (王海峰) expressed, “We have over 300 cast and crew members and 500 temporary actors. In order to prevent spreading the virus, we decided to stop filming. All our staff have received their initial pay and promised to save the last three months this year to continue filming this movie.”

With the action film’s need to shoot scenes on snow mountains and large-scale sets, the postponed filming will result in losses of over 10 million RMB. Filmko Films has already assigned leave for the staff working at Changbai Mountain and will look for local accommodations for those who cannot return home yet.

Hengdian Studios Closed

Hengdian World Studios, where Chinese dramas are frequently filmed, is reportedly temporarily closed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Amid health concerns, Chinese dramas that have also halted their filming include: Wang Kai (王凱) and Dong Zijian’s (董子健) Like a Flowing River 2 <大江大河2>; Yang Mi’s (楊冪) Thank You Doctor <謝謝你醫生>; and Zanilia Zhao (趙麗穎) and Wang Yibo’s (王一博) The Legend of Fei <有翡>.

Wong Jing‘s (王晶) new film adaptation of The Heaven Sword and Dragon Saber <倚天屠龍記>, which stars Raymond Lam (林峯), is currently in its pre-production phase. Wong Jing said they will continue to monitor the situation to see when is a suitable time for principal photography to start.


This article is written by Hailey for

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  1. omg, 4000+ cases now. yessterday as of 4pm was still 2700. this is spreading like wildfire. good move on the production company’s part.

    1. @m0m0 It’s up to 5400+ cases now, with 130+ deaths….and they’ve discovered the first few cases of human-to-human transmission of the virus outside of China (there was one reported today where a bus driver in Japan who had never been to China contracted the virus after driving 2 busloads of Wuhan tourists around). More and more countries around the world are reporting new cases and as a result, are adopting measures such as making it a requirement for travelers at the airport to have their temperatures taken and not allowing them to board flights if they are sick…meanwhile, some cities like Hong Kong, which is close to the epicenter of the breakout, is doing little in terms of preventive measures other than shutting down small border crossings and taking the “honor system” approach of having travelers fill out declarations vouching for their own health…

      Everyday there is something new, and most of the time, it’s not good news. The scientists working on the vaccine for this virus need to hurry up and finish because it will probably be needed really soon!

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