Surprise! Zendaya was hard at work while in quarantine. She shot a new film, which features a Black love interest in John David Washington. Fans are applauding his casting opposite the starlet.
While most people watched Netflix and made banana bread during quarantine, Zendaya shot a movie in secret! The 23-year-old actress was supposed to start filming HBO’s Euphoria season two in March 2020, but production was forced to shut down due to the coronavirus lockdown. Instead of sitting around, Zendaya called up the show’s creator Sam Levinson and asked him write and direct a movie they could work on during quarantine, our sister site Deadline reports. He penned the script for Malcolm and Marie in six days, and they hired BlacKkKlansman star John David Washington to play Zendaya’s love interest. Fans are rejoicing that Z finally got a Black actor to star in a love story with.
Malcolm & Marie pic.twitter.com/99RWzgLFbD
— Zendaya (@Zendaya) July 8, 2020
Zendaya thrilled fans when on July 7, she tweeted a still shot of her leaning in to passionately kiss John, while simply writing the film’s title in the caption. Her name shot to the top of U.S. Twitter trends, with fans gushing that she and John looked so hot together in the black and white frame.
Sam was able to round up some of his primary Euphoria crew members, including his director of photography and production designer for the project. It shot in one location — Monterey County’s Feldman Architecture’s Caterpillar House — so as to be as contained as possible. It also helped that the house was on 33 acres, allowing for maximum social distancing during the June 17 – July 2 shoot, according to Deadline. The film’s plot is still under wraps, but the site reported that it is similar to Netflix’s Marriage Story, but with social and pandemic themes of what is going on in the world right now.
The site note that Zendaya’s new film had complied with all COVID-19 production rules from the various Hollywood guilds and unions. The cast and crew headed north to Monterey County, where they each quarantined for two weeks before production got underway (even rehearsing at a distance in parking lots!). Once action was called, the film had a skeleton crew of no more than 12 people on set at a time.
ZENDAYA AND JOHN DAVID WASHINGTON IN A MOVIE TOGETHER IM SO EXCITED pic.twitter.com/6kkDKmtgfD
— joni | CW TODAY (@lovleyholland) July 8, 2020
Zendaya has had white pseudo-love interests including Zac Efron (The Greatest Showman) and Tom Holland (Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far From Home), so fans rejoiced that she’s starring opposite John, 35, even though a few griped about their 12 year age difference. Others were just happy that new movie content is coming, with Twitter user @cooljulian5 responding, “@Zendaya Ma’am thank you for saving our 2020’s!!!!”
@dayahubb was so excited about how Z kept a whole movie shoot a secret, especially with all of the rest of Hollywood in lockdown, writing “@Zendaya This is like when Kylie Jenner had her baby and kept it secret for 9 months, yeah same energy here.” YouTube’s Beyond the Trailer co-host @GraceRandolph gave Zendaya props for being such a go-getting with her career, tweeting, “>Also, I want to say that I not only love this cast, but @Zendaya deserves a ton of credit for being the one to think of doing this movie in the first place. Business skills FTW.” Isn’t that the truth! Zendaya also got executive producer credit on the film, along with John David and rapper Kid Cudi (Scott Mescudi), who was one of the project’s investors.