Hollywood stars Clooney and Roberts return home as local rom-com production halts due to Covid
Daily Mail Australia understands from a source who worked on the Golden Coast set of the film that people were “dropping like flies” due to the spread of the Omicron variation in the region in recent weeks.
It is believed that the film had just two weeks of shooting left when writer/director Ol Parker requested that production be halted for at least three months.
Some of those who contracted the virus worked in close proximity to Mr. Clooney and Ms. Roberts.
Julia Roberts (left and George Clooney) are said to have returned to the US after production on their romantic comedy, Ticket To Paradise, which was filming in Queensland, was halted due to the latest Covid outbreak
George Clooney (in a lemon shirt) is seen on the Gold Coast during production for his romantic comedy with Julia Roberts, Ticket To Paradise
A source said Mr Clooney shaved the beard he had grown for the role before leaving Australia for a flight to Honolulu, where he caught another flight back to California.
Some of the key members of the film’s international production team remained in Queensland for a further two weeks.
Ironically, production on the film, which is set in Bali, has been moved to Australia due to fears over the number of Covid cases in Indonesia.
Arts Minister Paul Fletcher announced in March last year that Ticket To Paradise would film at venues across Queensland, including the Whitsundays, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
To support the film, produced by British filmmaker Working Title Films, Universal Pictures, Clooney’s Smokehouse Pictures and Roberts’s Red Om Films, the federal government has provided a grant of $6.4 million.
Mr Fletcher said the film would generate at least 270 jobs and inject $47 million into the local economy.
On news the big budget production would be shot in Queensland, Screen Queensland CEO Kylie Munnich said: ‘We are very lucky to have a Covid safe destination where people can film at this time and thankfully , not be subject to delays or stoppages and so they can have an amazing lifestyle while they are here.
George Clooney and his wife Amal, with twins Ella and Alexander, pictured boarding a private jet to Hamilton Island in the Whitsundays during the production of a Ticket To Paradise
Mr Clooney and Ms Roberts dined at the upscale Brisbane Calile Hotel just before Christmas
Julia Roberts (left) is seen at the Calile Hotel with George Clooney’s wife, Amal (right)
Ticket To Paradise was due out in October this year, with high expectations for its success due to Clooney and Roberts reuniting after the box office successes Ocean’s Eleven and Ocean’s Twelve in the early 2000s.
They also starred together in the 2016 crime thriller Money Monster, directed by fellow actor Jodie Foster.
The plot of Ticket To Paradise sees Clooney and Roberts as a divorced couple who, upon learning that their daughter is planning to marry in Bali, rush to the island to save her from “making the same mistake as before”.
Writer-director Parker previously created The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Mamma Mia! Here we go again.
Mr Clooney moved to Australia in October with his wife Amal, a human rights lawyer, and the couple’s five-year-old twins, Alexander and Ella, completing a mandatory 14-day quarantine period in a sprawling NSW estate Southern Highlands.
Ms Roberts also arrived in October, spending her quarantine period in a $56.9million mansion in Sydney’s Vaucluse.
In October last year, Mr Clooney, 60, told Hollywood website Deadline that he had been on a Keto diet to lose weight for a scene in the film where he jumped shirtless into a swimming pool .
Daily Mail Australia has approached director Ol Parker’s US representative for further comment.
Queensland enjoyed status as one of Australia’s relatively Covid-free states until it reopened its border with the hotspot states on December 13 after reaching 80% of its eligible population with two doses of a vaccine .
Since then, new infections have increased exponentially, with 15,962 infections and a record 16 deaths announced on Tuesday.
Forty-five people had now died in the state from contracting Covid since December 13.