What would a film created during a global pandemic look like? We'll have our answer in Malcolm & Marie, the indie film starring Zendaya and John David Washington that was produced entirely during the quarantine era under a myriad of strict social distancing guidelines. The feature, filmed the summer of 2020 in California is headed for Netflix soon. Here's what you need to know.
It premieres on February 5.
Malcolm & Marie arrives to select theaters in January and on Netflix on Friday, February 5, 2021. Watch the dramatic official trailer above.
Malcolm & Marie — a cinematic ode to the great Hollywood romances from Euphoria creator Sam Levinson starring Zendaya & John David Washington — will premiere February 5, 2021 on Netflix!
Follow @strongblacklead @NetflixFilm & @netflixqueue for the latest on this film — and more pic.twitter.com/VbliMMExf2
— Netflix (@netflix) November 18, 2020
It pays homage to great Hollywood romances.
The Sam Levinson-helmed film is "an ode to the great Hollywood romances as well as a heartfelt expression of faith in the medium's future," according to a synopsis from Netflix.
The description teases that Malcolm & Marie is an "achingly romantic drama in which a filmmaker (Washington) and his girlfriend (Zendaya) return home following a celebratory movie premiere as he awaits what’s sure to be imminent critical and financial success. The evening suddenly takes a turn as revelations about their relationships begin to surface, testing the strength of their love."
The titular couple find themselves in an intense fight.
Zendaya and Washington spoke to Level about the intricacies of Malcolm and Marie's relationship and searing confrontation. "Marie, to me, is pushing the argument, throwing fuel on the fire," the Euphoria star said. "She walks in, ready to start an argument. She knows what triggers him and she pushes his buttons over and over. She knows exactly what buttons to push. She ignites the fire and she kind of likes it. If we’re trying to say who’s worse, I’m so interested to see where people fall on either side."
Washington added, "There will be something in this film you can relate to. Maybe you don’t fight and argue like Malcolm and Marie. But maybe you know the vulnerability that they each show. Maybe you feel intensity toward your work the way Malcolm does or anxiety about your work the way Marie does."
Netflix bought it for $30 million.
The streaming giant purchased the film in a major sale out of the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival, Variety reported. It trumped other interested platforms like HBO and Amazon.
Many health and safety guidelines were in place.
With Euphoria creator Sam Levinson directing, Zendaya, Washington, and a limited crew gathered at the eco-conscious and architecturally stunning Caterpillar House in Carmel, California. Filming took place from June 17 to July 2, and everyone was tested for COVID-19 and quarantined for two weeks before shooting began.
A producer developed health precautions for the set with the help of production unions and a doctor's guidance. Cast and crew members wore masks, abided by social distancing rules, and were not allowed to leave the property. Even a chef quarantined with them on the premises; food was individually wrapped rather than served buffet style.
Actors were in charge of dressing and mic-ing themselves. Crew members couldn't be near them without proper protective gear. Temperature checks were taken at the beginning and end of each day. Crew sanitized the set and gear. People were instructed to stay at least six feet apart unless necessary. Tissues were provided for touching door handles. See the full list of rules here, per Deadline.
It's supposedly reminiscent of Marriage Story.
When news of Malcolm & Marie first broke, Deadline reported that the film "has some echoes of Netflix's Marriage Story, while resonating a number of social themes that the world is experiencing right now."
Watch this space for updates.
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