Coronavirus: Penelope Cruz, Antonio Banderas Film 'Official Competition' Suspends Production

Credit: Steve Granitz/WireImage
Penelope Cruz, Antonio Banderas

The Spanish-language drama from Argentine directors Mariano Cohn and Gastón Duprat stopped shooting on Thursday amid growing concerns over the spread of COVID-19.

Official Competition, the new film that re-teams Pain & Glory stars Penélope Cruz and Antonio Banderas, has become the latest production to fall victim to the coronavirus.

The new feature from Argentine directors Mariano Cohn and Gastón Duprat (The Distinguished Citizen) halted shooting in Spain on Thursday, producer Mediapro confirmed. The move follows new regulations in Spain that have seen the country close schools and limit public gatherings in a bid to stem the spread of coronavirus.

In the film, Cruz plays a director hired by a billionaire entrepreneur to re-create an iconic movie, featuring local heartthrob Félix Rivero (Banderas). Protagonist Pictures, CAA Media Finance and Paradigm are handling international sales on the project.

Shooting on Official Competition began in Madrid a few weeks ago and was set to run until mid-April. Mediapro said it would begin production as soon as it was possible to ensure the safety of its production team.

Official Competition joins a growing list of productions that have been suspended amid the global coronavirus outbreak. Marvel movie Shang-Chi, shooting in Australia, has suspended production as director Destin Daniel Cretton awaits the result of a COVID-19 test; Tom Cruise's Mission Impossible 7, set to shoot for three weeks in Venice, Italy, has been delayed as the country remains in lockdown; and Baz Lurhmann's untitled Elvis project, another Australia shoot, is on hold while co-star Tom Hanks, along with his wife Rita Wilson, remain in the hospital following a positive coronavirus test.