Lionsgate has dropped out of distributing the Gerard Butler action movie “The Plane” because producers were unable to obtain production insurance that would cover a COVID-19 outbreak, Variety has confirmed.

Lionsgate boarded “The Plane” a year ago at the American Film Market, announcing that it had bought the rights to the film for North America, Latin America, the U.K. and India.

Butler will portray a commercial pilot who, after a heroic job of successfully landing his storm-damaged aircraft in a war zone, finds himself caught between the agendas of multiple militias who are planning to take the plane and its passengers hostage. As the world’s authorities and media search for the disappeared aircraft, the pilot must rise to the occasion and keep his passengers safe long enough for help to arrive.

Producers are Di Bonaventura Pictures’ Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mark Vahradian, MadRiver Pictures’ Marc Butan and Ara Keshishian, Butler and Alan Siegel under their G-BASE banner. MadRiver International handled the international sales. CAA Media Finance brokered domestic rights.

The team had originally planned to shoot the film in Malaysia last month but opted against doing so when COVID cases spiked in the country. The filmmakers have been considering shooting in the Dominican Republic and in the U.S. but had not locked down a location, leading to Lionsgate deciding to back away from the project.

Buyers and sellers at the online AFM, which opened Nov. 9, have said that the uncertainty over obtaining insurance is a pervasive challenge, making completed films more desirable.

The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.