If you didn’t already think that Zendaya is a powerhouse, you certainly will after this. The actress is not just part of what may be the first feature film created in quarantine, but also played a hand in its ideation.
Euphoria Sam creator Sam Levinson received a call from HBO on March 16th that season 2 of the show had to shut down. However, this didn’t deter him from making the most of his time. One night, Zendaya, who stars in the show, called him and asked if he could write and direct a movie, all during the quarantine. And thus, only a few days later, Levinson had created Malcolm & Marie.
Alongside Zendaya, the movie features BlacKkKlansman Golden Globe nominee and Tenet star John David Washington. Zendaya took to Instagram to post an intimate black and white still from the movie with the caption, “Malcom & Marie.”
Filmed in under a month from June 17-July 2, it was shot at the Caterpillar House, a remote and environmentally conscious glass architectural building in Carmel, California. The production was compliant with WGA, DGA and SAG-AFTRA approvals and COVID-19 safety protocols. The entire team took precautions, including taking multiple COVID tests and going to Monterey for a two week quarantine pre-filming.
For these two weeks, the cast and crew wore masks and maintained proper social distance. They took hikes, rehearsed in a parking lot and ate in designated spots with food prepared by a chef who had been quarantined with the group. No one was allowed to leave the property.
Once production started, no more than 12 people were permitted to be on set at any given time and no crew members were allowed to be the actors without the proper personal protective equipment. And these are just a few of the precautions that everyone involved in the creation of this well kept secret took.
According to Deadline, the film has “echoes of Netflix’s Marriage Story, while resonating a number of social themes that the world is experiencing right now.” Though there is still much we don’t know about this project, including its release date. Given what we know currently though, it promises to be something special.