As you know, lots of film and TV productions have been shutting down in Hollywood as a way to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. Deadline is now reporting that Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings series and Netflix’s The Witcher series have followed suit and have shut down their productions.
The series adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings is currently filming in New Zealand where tough border controls have been recently enforced. GSR Productions shared the following statement:
“In an abundance of caution, UAP [Untitled Amazon Project] has suspended production for the next two (2) weeks commencing Monday, March 16, This is done in an environment where travel restrictions directed at the control of Covid-19 are issued daily by New Zealand and most other countries.
[Cast and Crew were directed to] not report to the set or to the studio without the express permission of your supervisor…[This shutdown is done to] minimise stress on the resources and infrastructures around us by doing our part to reduce population density in our communities and daily activities, in efforts to help reduce the spread of the virus…We will provide updates as we continue to evaluate trends and developments.”
It’s also being reported that “there are no clear answers to when we will resume.” The Lord of the Rings series will be set in the Second Age. There are 3,000 years of history between the series and the beginning of The Lord of the Rings. The Second Age covered nearly 3,441 years, and it began after the banishment of Morgoth, the dark lord before Sauron. In the Tolkien mythology, the Second Age was the time in which the Rings of Power, including Sauron’s One Ring, came into existence. There’s also the emergence of the Ringwraiths.
As for The Witcher, a member of the production team shared this statement:
“We have made the decision, effective immediately, to pause production for two weeks during this difficult time… this will allow everyone the time to make informed decisions about how to move forward. The coronavirus has raised challenging issues for everyone working on set on productions for Netflix. We are very grateful for all the work everyone has done to keep cast and crew safe during this pandemic.”
The Witcher is based on the best-selling fantasy series by Andrzej Sapkowski. It tells the “epic tale of fate and family. Geralt of Rivia, a solitary monster hunter, struggles to find his place in a world where people often prove more wicked than beasts. But when destiny hurtles him toward a powerful sorceress, and a young princess with a dangerous secret, the three must learn to navigate the increasingly volatile Continent together.”
I enjoyed the first season of the series and I’m excited to see how the story continues with Season 2.