On Wednesday, Sept. 9, director Baz Luhrmann confirmed that the Oscar winner returned to Queensland to continue filming the upcoming Elvis Presley biopic. "We're back to, as Elvis liked to say, 'Taking care of business!'" Luhrmann said in a statement, via Variety. "It is a real privilege in this unprecedented global moment that Tom Hanks has been able to return to Australia to join Austin Butler and all of our extraordinary cast and crew to commence production on Elvis."
"I cannot emphasize enough how lucky we feel in the current climate that the state of Queensland, and Queenslanders in general, have been so supportive of this film," the director continued. "We thank our partners in the Queensland Government and Queensland Health for their extremely diligent process, so that we can be an example how creativity and productivity can proceed safely and responsibly in a way that protects our team and the community at large. We are all excited to start working with Tom Hanks when he is out of quarantine in two weeks."
Hanks had been in Australia filming the movie in March when he and wife Rita Wilson fell ill and were diagnosed with COVID-19. Later that same month, the couple returned to the United States after recovering from the virus. Hanks and Wilson have since donated their blood and plasma for coronavirus research after confirming that they carry antibodies.
Since his recovery from the virus, the 64-year-old actor has spoken out about the importance of wearing masks amid the ongoing pandemic. "There's really only three things we can do in order to get to tomorrow: Wear a mask, social distance, wash our hands," Hanks said while promoting his film Greyhound over the summer. "Those things are so simple, so easy, if anybody cannot find it in themselves to practice those three very basic things – I just think shame on you."
"Don't be a p----, get on with it, do your part," he continued. "It's very basic. If you're driving a car, you don't go too fast, you use your turn signal and you avoid hitting pedestrians. My Lord, it's common sense."