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The Coronavirus Just Impacted The Witcher In A Major Way

The past week has seen a long list of productions shut down over concerns of the coronavirus spreading ever-faster through human contact. From TV series to films to Netflix and Disney projects, it seems to be a never-ending list of postponements coming down from studios in an effort to promote cast and crew health and safety.

While it seemed that the second season of Netflix's popular The Witcher series might pull through the crisis, it's just become the latest victim of the pandemic in the entertainment industry. Netflix had previously shut down all of its US and Canadian productions, but The Witcher is the first of the major UK-based productions to be affected by the virus. After shutting down everything in the US and Canada last week, Netflix made the decision to assess all productions outside that zone on a case-by-case basis as things progressed. With the virus taking hold in the UK as well, tough decisions are being made by the streaming giant, and The Witcher, which is filmed at Arborfield Studios in Wokingham just outside of London, is the first to have the plug pulled on it.

According to Deadline, at this stage, the production's suspension is only set to be for a period of two weeks. The second season of The Witcher isn't due to be released until 2021, so it's not likely that this hiatus will have much of an impact on the release date, unlike some other productions. However, whether or not the production will be able to continue after the two-week break remains to be seen, as the virus spread has grown exponentially in the past few weeks, with no sign of slowing down unless drastic measures are taken.

The tough decisions may not yet be over for Netflix

The crew of The Witcher were apparently informed of the hiatus by email on Sunday, March 15, but they were also reassured that Netflix will continue to pay their salaries during the stoppage. Production on season 2 had only started at the end of February, so it was still in the early phases at the time the decision was made to suspend shooting.

A source from inside the production told Deadline, "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."

Other Netflix productions in the UK include the popular show The Crown, which is produced by Left Bank Pictures. No decision has yet been made about whether or not filming is to continue on the popular drama amid the heightened coronavirus fears, but Netflix is in talks with the studio about whether it is safe to proceed at this time.

Of course, we'll be continuing to closely monitor film and television productions affected by the coronavirus pandemic, and we'll keep you informed.