How Tom Cruise and Zendaya Inspired the Pandemic Productions ‘Locked Down’ and ‘Malcolm & Marie’

Neither Doug Liman nor Sam Levinson is capable, it seems, of sitting around twiddling his thumbs.

Over the summer, in pandemic lockdown, both prepped a new movie, unsure if it would ever happen.

With breathtaking speed, they raised financing to shoot their pared-down indie movies without studio interference.

Locked Down” was filmed in 18 days in London, England, while “Malcolm & Marie” shot over 14 days in the glass Caterpillar House in Carmel, California.Both movies are two-handers centered on a faltering relationship.

In “Locked Down” (now streaming on HBO Max), writer Steven Knight stopped writing “Peaky Blinders” episodes long enough to knock out a story at the behest of Liman and producer P.J.

van Sandwijk (“Citizen K”) about an estranged couple (Anne Hathaway and Chiwetel Ejiofor) who, forced by the pandemic to continue to cohabit in lockdown, plan and execute a Harrods jewel heist that reheats their romance.

Over the summer,

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