The movie, which is produced by Transformers director Michael Bay, is set in the year 2024. With the US in its 213th week of lockdown, the virus has mutated to be known as “Covid-23”, a strain that attacks brain tissue and has a 50 per cent mortality rate.
It stars Riverdale’s KJ Apa as Nico, a frontline bike courier who is immune to the disease and falls in love with Sara (Sofia Carson), who he can never meet due to strict lockdown rules.
Songbird’s trailer was released on Thursday (29 October) and was instantly panned online, with viewers branding the film “insensitive” at a time when Covid-19 is still affecting people across the world.
“People are dying and you’re capitalising off the current situation with a movie,” one viewer wrote, while another added: “Corona is not even over and they already making a movie about a Covid-23 for profit…?!”
“Making a ‘dystopian horror movie’ about a horror that is real and happening RIGHT NOW is so tone deaf. And so not what people need,” another social media user commented.
“So many people have lost jobs, livelihoods and loved ones due to COVID, and everyone’s life has been severely affected. Bad, bad, bad move.”
“This is about as subtle and nuanced as someone coughing in your face,” another commented.
Songbird features an all-star cast including Demi Moore, Craig Robinson and Bradley Whitford.
It has been compared by creator Adam Mason to “Romeo and Juliet, but they’re separated by her front door and by the virus”.
Songbird was the first feature film to be made in Los Angeles during the pandemic, with production beginning on 8 July and taking place over 17 days.