Production of Russell Crowe’s new thriller Poker Face has been shut down after a crew member tested positive to Covid-19 at Sydney’s Fox Studios.
The movie has been shot in the Harbour City and on the NSW south coast – and filming was scheduled to wrap up early next week.
But the production was brought to a grinding halt on Tuesday after the confirmed case, with cast and crew ordered to isolate immediately.
NSW Health is also investigating a second possible positive case on the set.
Crowe, 57, confirmed the shutdown in a series of tweets on Tuesday, but said he hoped to be ‘back up and running very soon’.
Suspended: Production on Russell Crowe’s (pictured) new thriller Poker Face has been paused after a crew member tested positive to Covid-19 at Sydney’s Fox Studios
‘Unfortunately six days from the end of our shoot on Poker Face we have had a confirmed positive Covid case amongst our crew and a second possible positive under further investigation by our Covid team and NSW Health,’ Crowe said.
‘The crew have been masked on set the whole time except for three individuals with medical exemptions.
‘We feel for the crew members involved. They are both very committed team players and diligent in their approach to their work responsibilities.
‘We also feel for the wider community going through these difficult times. We hope this situation will be confined and we can be back up and running very soon.’
Poker Face began filming in the Kiama and Berry region of NSW earlier this month, before spending a week shooting at Crown Towers in Sydney’s Barangaroo and the city’s Fox Studios.
Lockdown: The movie was scheduled to wrap in less than a week, but filming has been halted for the time being after the cast and crew were instructed to isolate
On location: Poker Face began filming in the Kiama and Berry region of NSW earlier this month (pictured), before spending a week shooting at Crown Towers in Sydney’s Barangaroo
Halted: Crowe, 57, confirmed shooting had been temporarily suspended in a series of tweets on Tuesday (pictured), but said he hoped to be ‘back up and running very soon’
Crowe appears to be self-isolating in his apartment in Sydney’s Woolloomooloo.
‘Look what somebody has left in my front garden. This boat is a roll on, roll off ferry that usually does the Melbourne to Devonport run across the tempestuous Bass Strait,’ he tweeted from his apartment at 9am on Tuesday.
The set of Poker Face was operating under strict Covid-19 protocols, with the film expected to inject millions of dollars into the local economy through tourism, employment and box-office sales.
Isolating: Crowe tweeted his view from Crown Towers on Friday
Cast members were required to get tested for the virus every three days, and were also instructed not to enter any hotspot zones.
The New Zealand-born actor, who is directing and starring in the psychological thriller alongside Liam Hemsworth and Elsa Pataky, was last seen on set on Friday.
Reports emerged last month that Crowe had been upgraded to director of the film.
Isolating: Crowe appears to be self-isolating in his apartment in Woolloomooloo. Pictured: Crowe’s tweet from 9am on Tuesday
He was previously listed as an actor on the IMDb database, but took over from Gary Fleder as director.
It’s believed the change was made due to Australia’s Covid restrictions, which made it difficult for American Fleder to travel Down Under.
Earlier this month, Kiama MP Gareth Ward slammed Russell’s star-studded project, accusing the Hollywood star of ‘mocking public health orders’ by filming during the state’s Covid crisis.
‘Mockery’: Russell Crowe (left) was criticised by Kiama MP Gareth Ward (right) earlier this month for continuing to film his thriller Poker Face in rural NSW despite the state’s Covid crisis
‘”A-listers” producing movies is essential?’ Mr Ward slammed Russel’s production on Twitter, accusing the Hollywood star of ‘mocking public health orders’ by continuing with filming
‘This makes a total mockery of the Public Health Orders. People can’t see family and friends, funerals limited to 10, no cases in Shellharbour but still locked down, but apparently “A-listers” producing movies is essential?’ Mr Ward ranted on Twitter.
While Mr Ward’s tweet may have been well-intentioned, Russell’s production did in fact comply with health orders at the time.
Shellharbour, a city located 16km from Russell’s film set, is in lockdown, however.
Cast: The New Zealand-born actor, who is directing and starring in the psychological thriller alongside Liam Hemsworth (pictured) and Elsa Pataky, was last seen on set on Friday
Russell has reportedly picked out several iconic locations for the film’s set pieces.
One of the movie’s sequences will feature a high-speed car chase inside the Harbour Tunnel.
Also being showcased in the film will be the $140 million penthouse atop James Packer’s Crown Residences and ‘a sprawling Point Piper mansion overlooking Sydney Harbour’.
The rest of the film is said be shot at Moore Park’s Fox Studios.
While the movie was originally set in Miami, Florida, Crowe has reportedly demanded the film be filmed and set in Sydney.
Set piece: One of the movie’s sequences will feature a high speed car chase inside the Harbour Tunnel (pictured)
Point Piper: ‘A sprawling Point Piper mansion overlooking Sydney Harbour’ will also feature
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