Australians in self-isolation may be enjoying streaming binges, but even those are not immune from the impact of COVID-19.
Netflix fantasy The Witcher becomes the first Netflix show in Britain to be impacted by the growing crisis. Filming on the second season, starring Henry Cavill, has been suspended for two weeks.
“Cast and crew health is our primary concern. We are dealing with an unprecedented global pandemic that is beyond our control, and in many instances with mandates or restrictions imposed by governments (including travel restrictions in many countries),” a source told the Hollywood Reporter. “As such, we have made the decision, effective immediately, to pause production for 2 weeks during this difficult time, and we will support our production partners working on Netflix U.K. scripted series in doing the same. This will allow everyone the time to make informed decisions about how to move forward.”
Amazon’s $1 billion Lord of the Rings series in New Zealand has also been suspended for two weeks. The New Zealand Herald published advice from producers GSR Productions sent to all cast and crew which said: “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.”
Meanwhile the India Motion Picture Producers’ Association said it would request the suspension of all film, TV, advertising and web series shoots in the country from March 19 to 31. The body also advised all Indian film crews currently at work on projects overseas to return to country within the next three days. “In the interest of the country, society and film workers, all the associations of the Indian film industry have taken the decision to shut down all shoots,” said J.D. Majethia, president of the India Film & TV Producers Council. Bollywood and India’s other regional-language film industries produce well over 1,000 films each year.