Lord of the Rings & The Witcher Season 2 halting production for two weeks
Three weeks after The Witcher began its second season production, Deadline is bringing word that Netflix has decided to follow suit with other studios and streamers as they officially halt the production of their Henry Cavill-led fantasy series for the duration of two weeks.
In addition, the outlet is also reporting that Amazon has suspended the production for their highly-anticipated series adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, currently filming in New Zealand where tough border controls have been recently enforced. The announcement was relayed by GSR Productions through a memo where staff said “there are no clear answers to when we will resume.”
The temporary production hiatus is, of course, in line with Hollywood’s efforts to combat the spreading of COVID-19 (formerly named as Coronavirus) as the pandemic continues to affect the world.
“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,” A member of The Witcher production team said in a statement. “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.”
Based on the best-selling fantasy series by Andrzej Sapkowski, The Witcher is an 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.
The series stars Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia, Freya Allan as Princess Ciri, Anya Chalotra as Yennefer of Vengerberg, MyAnna Buring as Tissaia, and Joey Batey as Jaskier. Season 2 will also feature the return of Tom Canton as Filavandrel, Lilly Cooper as Murta, Jeremy Crawford as Yarpin Zigrin, Eamon Farren as Cahir, Mahesh Jadu as Vilgefortz, Terence Maynard as Artorius, Lars Mikkelson as Stregobor, Mimi Ndiweni as Fringilla Vigo, Royce Pierrseson as Istredd, Wilson Radjou-Pujalte as Dara, Anna Shaffer as Triss Merigold, and Therica Wilson Read as Sabrina.
All eight episodes of the first season are already available for streaming on Netflix.
GSR Productions’ memo about the temporary suspension of The Lord of the Rings series production reads:
“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.”
The highly-anticipated Lord of the Rings series will be set in the Second Age. That places approximately 3,000 years of history between the series and the beginning of The Lord of the Rings. Casual fans may not realize it, but Jackson’s Fellowship of the Rings actually depicted the end of the Second Age, when the last alliance of elves and men confronted Sauron’s forces. The Second Age covered nearly 3,441 years, and it began after the banishment of Morgoth, the dark lord before Sauron. There’s a lot of story potential in that time, including the rise of Sauron, the creation of the One Ring, and the emergence of the Ringwraiths.
The Lord of the Rings series is produced by Amazon Studios in cooperation with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins, and New Line Cinema. It is expected to debut in 2021.