You know what I’d love to watch right now? A movie about covid-19. Or better yet, what about 20 movies about covid-19!
There are at least 20 documentaries in the works about the virus right now, as reported in a piece by Vulture’s Chris Lee, including a covid-19-related project for the flailing platform Quibi and a Ron Howard documentary for National Geographic about World Central Kitchen. The slate takes a wide approach to the effects of the virus, with some projects focusing on the food industry and suppliers while others take a video-diary approach using contributors in several countries.
Some directors tell Vulture that even though several projects are in the works, streaming services aren’t exactly excited about the material, indicating “there may be a less than robust market for coronavirus-related nonfiction features once quarantining measures lift.” “I’ve heard the argument that no one is going to want to watch something about covid when this is over,” documentarian Laura Gabbert says. “I don’t believe that.”
Personally, I’m much more worried about the fictional covid-19 films we’ll get once this is over, seeing as how Contagion became a sort of bible for viewers and media outlets trying to make sense of what’s happening. I’ve found relief in books and movies about pandemics so far, but I’m not so sure I’ll feel the same about watching Hollywood stylize the pandemic for financial gain.