Tom Hanks & Rita Wilson Struck with Coronavirus in Australia; Channel 9 Among Areas of Concern in Wake

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, both aged 63, have contracted the Coronavirus while in Australia.

The actors and married couple have been in Queensland in pre-production of a still-untitled Elvis Presley biopic being directed by Aussie helmer Baz Luhrmann. Hanks shared the news on social media, saying that he and Rita “felt a bit tired, like we had colds, and some body aches,” so they were tested for the spreading COVID-19. The results came back positive.

“We Hanks’ will be tested, observed, and isolated for as long as public health and safety requires,” Hanks posted. “Not much more to it than a one-day-at-a-time approach, no?”

Recent word is that both Hanks and Wilson are doing well, currently under isolation at Gold Coast University Hospital.

The couple’s son, Chet Hanks, took to social media to reassure fans, saying, “They both are fine; they’re not even that sick. […] I don’t think it’s anything to be too worried about.”

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Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczu tweeted, “Wishing Tom and Rita all the best for a speedy recovery.”

Warner Bros. released a statement shortly after the news broke, saying that the studio was “working closely with the appropriate Australian health agencies to identify and contact anyone who may have come in direct contact with the individual.”

Seeing that Hanks and Wilson have been on a bit of an Australian treck thanks to the latter’s concert tour, there are a number of people that have been left highly concerned. The Opera House, a Sydney Harbour cruise and Bondi Beach were among the places visited by the pair, who have interacted with various media and fans.

They dined at Justin Hemmes’ restaurant Mr Wong. Subsequently, all staff members that “were within one metre of Mr Hanks and his party” have been placed “in self-isolation” and “tested” for the virus, as was reported by The Sydney Morning Herald.

The Nine Network is also in a bit of a spin at the moment, following an interview and performance that saw Wilson interact with Today Extra hosts David Campbell and Belinda Russell, as well as Nine entertainment editor Richard Wilkins.

“Nine today has taken action in line with our crisis response plan around a visit to our studio by Ms Rita Wilson on Monday this week, for an appearance on Today Extra with David Campbell and Belinda Russell,” said a spokesperson for the network. “Those who were in prolonged­ contact with Ms Wilson have been tested and are self-isolating­ for 14 days.”

 A Current Affair host Tracy Grimshaw has also stepped away from the desk, at least momentarily, after news Wilson used her dressing room this week. Grimshaw is also recovering from recent surgery.

As for Luhrmann’s movie, in which Hanks is to play Presley’s iconic manager Colonel Tom Parker, there’s no word as yet on whether this development will affect the planned U.S. release date of October 1st, 2021. Hanks’ next film is WWII action-drama Greyhound, arriving in Australia on May 7 and opening in U.S. cinemas on June 12.

Tom Hanks in ‘Greyhound’ | Sony Pictures

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Guillermo, Founder and Manager of Screen Realm, lives and breathes all things screen and pop culture. He has over eight years' experience in the media landscape in a career that has encompassed television, radio, and the online space. When he's not working hard on Screen Realm, you can find him at a local Sydney cinema or catching up on his ever-growing list of must-watch TV shows.