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Netflix's The Witcher is the latest in a long line of shows and films to have been hit by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. The second season of the live-action fantasy had only recently started production in the UK, but the alarming spread of the disease has caused work on the show to be halted.
IGN reports that production on The Witcher has in fact been on pause for two weeks now. Just days ago, it was confirmed that all of Netflix's original shows and film projects in the US and Canada would go into hiatus for two weeks. NBC, Amazon, FX, Disney+, and Apple TV have also announced breaks from filming as the world attempts to get on top of coronavirus.
The list of shows and movies currently on pause or delayed is wide-ranging. The fourth season of Stranger Things, all of the planned Marvel TV shows, No Time To Die, A Quiet Place Part II, Mulan, and plenty more. Coronavirus has already taken its toll on the gaming industry too, with multiple events like GDC and E3 2020 cancelled. Analysts are also warning that the PS5 and Xbox Series X could be delayed, or at least launched in limited supply.
It's unclear exactly when work will resume on The Witcher, but halting all of these productions is clearly the smart - and right - thing to at the moment. If we have to wait a little bit longer to see Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia again? Fine. Season one of The Witcher was a promising - if uneven- start for the fantasy show, and I'm already incredibly excited for the characters and stories we'll be seeing in season two.
There's been plenty of big casting news in the last few weeks. In fact, there are multiple witchers joining Geralt this time around. Kim Bodnia (The Bridge) is to play Geralt's friend and mentor Vesemir. Meanwhile, Paul Bullion and Thue Ersted Rasmussen are playing Lambert and Eskel respectively. Both are fellow witchers who trained with Geralt at Kaer Morhen. The three don't always get along, but they have a fascinating, almost brotherly dynamic that should translate well to the show.
Elsewhere we have Yasen Atour as Coen, Game of Thrones actor Kristofer Hivju as Nivellen, Aisha Fabienne Ross as Lydia, and Mecia Simson as Francesca, the queen of the elves of Dol Blathanna. The Witcher season two is currently expected to arrive in 2021, but we'll have to wait and see if that turns out to be the case.
We're also not sure what all this means for the planned animated prequel/spinoff Nightmare Of The Wolf... but I'd be surprised if that also wasn't delayed by at least a little bit.
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