Coronavirus: Tom Hanks returns to Australia to shoot Baz Luhrmann's Elvis biopic

Marni Dixit
·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·3 mins read
TODAY -- Pictured: Tom Hanks on Friday, November 22, 2019 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Tom Hanks on Friday, November 22, 2019 (Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Tom Hanks is in quarantine after landing in Queensland to resume filming on Baz Luhrmann's Elvis Presley biopic.

The actor, who’s playing Colonel Tom Parker in the film, landed in a private jet on Tuesday night.

Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk was questioned in parliament about whether Hanks had been forced to complete quarantine in a hotel and did not deny that he had been granted an exemption.

“The industry plan for COVID in relation to the screen industry is a plan that has been approved, just like there is for the resources industry, just like there is for the agriculture industry,” she said.

“Under that plan, they have to stay in the place for two weeks, just like everybody else. They will have random checks, as is my understanding, by police.”

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"I've had discussion with Mayor Tom Tate to find out how we can have more production on the Gold Coast because other countries are shut down because of COVID."

However, despite Hanks’ exemption from the hotel rules, the actor has been confirmed to be isolating in a hotel ahead of the resumption of production.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 30: Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk speaks at a press conference as she gives an update on Queensland COVID-19 Border Controls on June 30, 2020 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk speaks at a press conference as she gives an update on Queensland COVID-19 Border Controls on June 30, 2020. (Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Ms Palaszczuk said the film will bring more than $100 million and 900 jobs to the Gold Coast economy. Austin Butler is playing the King of Rock and Roll in the biopic.

Hanks and wife Rita Wilson were amongst the first high profile people to contract coronavirus in mid-March, after falling ill in Australia. The production on Lurhmann’s film was halted immediately as the couple went into isolation in hospital.

The Queensland premier has also been slammed after allowing 400 AFL players and officials into the state last Tuesday from coronavirus-riddled Victoria.

Due to stricter border measures, Queensland residents returning from a declared COVID-19 hotspot or overseas are required to complete two weeks in hotel quarantine.

UNITED STATES - JANUARY 01:  (AUSTRALIA OUT) USA  Photo of Colonel Tom PARKER and Elvis PRESLEY, with manager Colonel Tom Parker - posed, c.1956/1967  (Photo by GAB Archive/Redferns)
Elvis PRESLEY, with manager Colonel Tom Parker - posed, c.1956/1967. (GAB Archive/Redferns)

However, some people are clearly being granted exemptions.

In July, Dannii Minogue was allowed to quarantine in a private Gold Coast residence for 14 days.

According to 7News, at the time Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said, "She has a COVID-safe plan which is being managed by an independent third party. That’s the reason that she got that exemption."

“There are a number of people who have come under that category I’ve given an exemption to because they have third party arrangements in place, that I’m confident they meet all the requirements that we have in place for hotel quarantine.

Editor’s note: This story has been edited to reflect Hanks’ decision to quarantine in a private hotel.