Tom Hanks' Elvis Presley Movie to Resume Production 6 Months After He Contracted Coronavirus

Tom Hanks at the premiere of 'Toy Story 4' in Hollywood on June 11
Amanda Edwards/WireImage

Tom Hanks is headed back to Australia, six months after he tested positive for COVID-19. The 64-year-old actor, as well as the cast and crew of the upcoming Elvis Presley biopic, are returning to Queensland to resume production at the end of this month.

Principal photography will begin on Sept. 23. Directed by Baz Luhrmann, the musical drama stars Austin Butler as Elvis, Hanks as Colonel Tom Parker and Olivia DeJonge as Priscilla Presley.

"Looking forward to getting to work after the lengthy delay," Luhrmann said in a statement on Thursday. "We’re back to, as Elvis liked to say, 'taking care of business!' It is a real privilege in this unprecedented global moment that Tom Hanks has been able to return to Australia to join Austin Butler and all of our extraordinary cast and crew to commence production on Elvis."

"I cannot emphasize enough how lucky we feel in the current climate that the state of Queensland, and Queenslanders in general, have been so supportive of this film," he continued. "We thank our partners in the Queensland Government and Queensland Health for their extremely diligent process, so that we can be an example how creativity and productivity can proceed safely and responsibly in a way that protects our team and the community at large. We are all excited to start working with Tom Hanks when he is out of quarantine in two weeks."

Hanks revealed in March that he and his wife, Rita Wilson, tested positive for COVID-19, while working on pre-production on the film in Australia. They were the first celebrities to confirm their diagnoses.

The couple shared the news on their Instagrams, with Hanks writing, "Hello, folks. Rita and I are down here in Australia. We felt a bit tired, like we had colds, and some body aches. Rita had some chills that came and went. Slight fevers too. To play things right, as is needed in the world right now, we were tested for the Coronavirus, and were found to be positive."

"Well, now. What to do next? The Medical Officials have protocols that must be followed," he continued. "We Hanks’ will be tested, observed, and isolated for as long as public health and safety requires. Not much more to it than a one-day-at-a-time approach, no? We’ll keep the world posted and updated. Take care of yourselves! Hanx!"

After being quarantined and recovering from the coronavirus, he and Wilson returned to Los Angeles. The Oscar winner continued to update his fans and followers on his recovery, sharing details about what it was like surviving the flu-like virus.

"Our discomfort because of the virus was pretty much done in two weeks. We had very different reactions, and that was odd," Hanks explained toThe Guardian in July. "My wife lost her sense of taste and smell, she had severe nausea, she had a much higher fever than I did. I just had crippling body aches, I was very fatigued all the time and I couldn't concentrate on anything for more than about 12 minutes. That last bit is kinda like my natural state anyway."

Hanks has since donated plasma and blood to help develop a COVID-19 vaccine. He's also joked about what the potential vaccine should be named.

"The question is, 'What now? What do we do now? Is there something we can do?' And, in fact, we just found out that we do carry the antibodies," Hanks said during NPR’s podcast Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! "We have not only been approached, we have said, 'Do you want our blood? Can we give plasma?' And in fact, we will be giving it now to the places that hope to work on, what I would like to call, the Hank-ccine."

"I'm not trying to hog it with a copyright," he laughed. "I'm not going to the patent office."

For more on Hanks' COVID-19 battle, see below.


Tom Hanks Opens Up About Surviving COVID-19 With Rita Wilson

Tom Hanks Is Gearing Up For New Projects and Still Donating Plasma

Tom Hanks Donates More Plasma After Recovering From COVID-19

Related Gallery