Songbird: Michael Bay’s Pandemic Thriller

The Michael Bay-produced pandemic thriller Songbird had hoped to go into production soon as Hollywood looks to resume film shoots amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. But now it’s been hit with a “Do Not Work” notice from SAG-AFTRA.

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Michael Bay
The film, whose cast was disclosed on June 24, is backed by Bay, as well as Invisible Narratives, run by former Paramount Pictures exec Adam Goodman and Disney exec Andrew Sugerman, and Catchlight Films, founded by Blumhouse veterans Jessica Hall Malanaphy and Jeanette Volturno and producers Marcei A. Brown and Rick A. Osako.

When asked for comment, a SAG-AFTRA spokesperson said: “The producers have not been transparent about their safety protocols, and that is something we obviously take very seriously. Also, as noted in the Do Not Work order, the producers have not yet become signatory to our agreement. We have no further comment.”

Songbird is set to be directed by Adam Mason, who co-wrote the script, and has a cast that includes Demi Moore, Craig Robinson, Paul Walter Hauser and Peter Stormare. THR earlier noted that the film was looking to begin production in Los Angeles this month.

On July 2, SAG-AFTRA sent a note to members about the “Do Not Work” order, stating, “The producer of the picture entitled Songbird has failed to complete the signatory process and is therefore not signed to any applicable SAG-AFTRA agreement. As such, SAG-AFTRA members are hereby instructed to withhold any acting services or perform any covered work for this production until further notice from the union.”

The union statement added: “Please note, accepting employment or rendering services on Songbird may be considered a violation of Global Rule One. Violating this order may result in disciplinary action in accordance with the SAG-AFTRA Constitution.”

As of June 12, film and TV production was allowed to resume in Los Angeles County under strict on-set safety protocols from the county’s Department of Public Health including “regular, periodic testing of the cast and crew” as well as an on-set COVID-19 compliance officer, social distancing, and regular cleaning of sets and props.