‘The Big Leap’ filming in Joliet on hiatus after crew members test positive for COVID

The positive COVID-19 test results come in the wake of this week’s viral, expletive-laden rant from actor Tom Cruise about pandemic protocols.

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The Rialto Square Theatre in Joliet is the site for filming of the new Fox series “The Big Leap.”

The Rialto Square Theatre in Joliet is the site for filming of the new Fox series “The Big Leap.”

Sun-Times File

The COVID-19 pandemic has shutdown production for another TV series filmed in the Chicago area.

Fox’s “The Big Leap,” which has been filming its pilot at Joliet’s Rialto Square Theatre since Dec. 2, has temporarily shut down production due to positive COVID-19 test results, venue officials told the Sun-Times.

The positive test results came from the routine testing on set, which takes place three times a week, according to crew officials.

No further decision has been made about the remaining four days left in production. The pilot had completed 11 days of filming when the positive tests shut down filming.

NBC’s “Chicago Fire” shut down production in November after several team members tested positive for COVID-19.

The temporary shutdown of “The Big Leap” was confirmed by Valerie Devine, the theater’s executive director.

“With this being something new in terms of the world of COVID [-19] and using venues and places that have been thus far closed, what I have seen is good practices in terms of COVID,” said Devine. “This is [Fox’s] gig, so I walk through to make sure everything’s going well. Obviously, when you are filming a TV show, at some point, people have masks off, right? It’s a new world for all of us, and we’re all trying to figure it out the best that we can.”

The show, which is inspired by “Big Ballet,” a British reality series, includes cast members Teri Polo, Scott Foley, Matt Lucas and Piper Perabo, among others — people whom crew member Sal Torrison says one infected crew member was in contact with.

“A second [assistant camera], which is someone who was involved directly with the camera and directors, and basically everyone close to set, tested positive on Monday, but we didn’t get the results until Tuesday at 4 p.m.,” said Torrison, a dolly grip who says he is in quarantine after coming in close contact with one crew member who tested positive.

The show’s temporary shutdown comes in the wake of this week’s viral, expletive-laden rant from actor Tom Cruise on the set of his latest “Mission: Impossible” film, after he reportedly spotted two workers failing to abide by social distancing guidelines.

“I believe every single person that works in the film industry should have to listen to that before reporting to work, because he’s 100% right,” said Torrison. “People that aren’t following protocols are ruining all of our chances and thousands and thousands of people are losing homes because our industry was shut down for six months.”

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