The Witcher, Lord Of The Rings And The Batman Stop Filming Due To Coronavirus
The second season of The Witcher has halted production amid growing concerns surrounding the coronavirus – aka COVID-19 – pandemic.
Production has been stopped for at least two weeks in an effort to protect all those involved in the Netflix series, and to prevent further spread of the virus.
The crew was made aware of the decision in an email, informing all members of the two-week shut down – although this period could be extended depending on what happens in the coming weeks regarding the virus.
The news comes after Netflix announced it was shutting down production in the US and Canada for two weeks ‘due to government restrictions and health [and] safety precautions’.
No other details were provided, but fans initially thought production of The Witcher would go ahead, as it was being filmed in the UK and therefore wasn’t affected by the streaming service’s decision.
At the time, a source told Witcher-dedicated news site, Redanian Intelligence, there had been ‘no major production shift’. According to their source, one scene was rescheduled, but it was because of cast availability rather than the COVID-19 pandemic.
This has all changed now though, with the same site reporting the situation will continue to be assessed as time goes on.
Production of the show’s second season was expected to wrap later this year in August for a release sometime in 2021, but this will now depend on when filming starts up again.
Other streaming service productions have followed suit, including Amazon Prime’s Lord of the Rings series, which had previously been expected for release in 2021. The 800-strong team in New Zealand have suspended work as of Monday, March 16, after the country closed its borders on March 13, as reported by New Zealand Herald.
None of the staff are believed to have tested positive for the virus, but all involved in production have been directed not to report to the set or to the studio ‘without the express permission of your supervisor’.
Likewise, production of The Batman was also halted by Warner Bros. before a location change from London to Liverpool was scheduled.
The studio said in a statement on Saturday, via The Hollywood Reporter:
Warner Bros. Pictures feature production of The Batman will hiatus filming for two weeks beginning today. The studio will continue to monitor the situation closely.
Disney has also suspended all live-action film productions, while Sony has put a hiatus on pre-productions on action-comedy The Man From Toronto.
It’s okay to not panic. LADbible and UNILAD’s aim with our coronavirus campaign, Cutting Through, is to provide our community with facts and stories from the people who are either qualified to comment or have experienced first-hand the situation we’re facing. For more information from the World Health Organization on coronavirus, click here.
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CreditsRedanian Intelligence and 3 others
The Hollywood Reporter
New Zealand Herald