'Locked Down': Anne Hathaway stars in heist film set during Covid-19 pandemic

With talk of furlough, face masks and Zoom meetings, this comedic thriller – filmed in the wake of the coronavirus crisis – captures the current climate

Anne Hathaway and Chiwetel Ejiofor in Locked Down. Susie Allnut / WarnerMedia Entertaiment
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In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, many Hollywood blockbusters look rather different to the world we now live in, with their packed crowds and characters' bustling social calendars.

However, a new HBO Max film set to be released this month will feel a little more familiar to most viewers – high-octane diamond heist aside.

Locked Down, starring Anne Hathaway and Chiwetel Ejiofor, is set during the Covid-19 pandemic, as the pair star as a fraught couple struggling to live together in a locked-down London.

With Ejiofor's Paxton furloughed and Hathaway's Linda forced to fire colleagues over Zoom meetings, the two find themselves trapped and warring, until they are presented with the opportunity to steal a £3 million ($4 million) diamond from the hallowed halls of luxury department store Harrods.

In a newly released trailer, the pair can be seen behind the scenes at the Knightsbridge landmark, mandatory face masks in place.

The film, directed by Mr and Mrs Smith's Doug Liman, is the first production to be shot in Harrods, a location only made viable courtesy of the store being shut to customers amid the pandemic.

"This movie is not only about this moment in time; it's a product of this moment in time," Liman told Variety. "I'm sure Steven Spielberg will get an Oscar in three years for the movie he makes about the pandemic, but this film holds a mirror to what we've gone through."

A scene in the trailer captures one of the scenarios that best encapsulates the UK's first lockdown, as Paxton harangues a fellow supermarket customer he spies bulk-buying toilet roll.

Locked Down, which also stars Mindy Kaling, Ben Stiller and Ben Kingsley, was first conceived by the director last July, with three weeks of filming completed in October.

Anne Hathaway wears a mask in a scene from 'Locked Down'. YouTube
Anne Hathaway wears a mask in a scene from 'Locked Down'. YouTube

The film was shot with safety and social distancing measures in place, a process Hathaway has described as "strangely free".

"Like the odds were so against us anyway that it made me want to lean into the exhilaration and take risks with my performance," the actress, 38, told People this week.

"It was scary taking my mask off every day, and so I really appreciated how committed the crew was to keeping their masks on — even when we were shooting in hot rooms and they were carrying heavy camera and lighting equipment they were always, always masked. Their professionalism helped keep me safe, and I was and am incredibly grateful to them."

Locked Down will be released on HBO's streaming platform, HBO Max, on Thursday, January 14. It has not yet been confirmed if the film will appear on OSN, the UAE-available streaming platform that has access to select HBO films and series.