This past spring, the majority of in-progress films and TV shows were forced to halt shooting due to the spread of the novel coronavirus commonly called COVID-19. A particularly tragic and frightening example was the second season of the Netflix original series The Witcher, which was forcibly shut down when actor Kristofer Hivju, who plays Nivellen and also starred as Tormund Giantsbane in Game of Thrones, tested positive for the virus in March.
UK-based Arborfield Studios reportedly performed a deep clean of the set, while members of the cast and crew were encouraged to self-quarantine following possible exposure to the affected individual. The team kept up their spirits during the pandemic via isolation-friendly challenges including #TheGreatWitcherBakeoff, in which members of the cast and crew were encouraged to record and show off their baking skills. Results ranged from stunning (cakes and pies in the shape of the show’s logo) to stunned (the general reaction to actor Joey Batey’s disastrous attempt).
Now, according information pulled from the production database Production Weekly, the series, which chronicles the adventures of titular monster hunter Geralt of Rivia and his found family, is currently scheduled to resume filming on August 3rd, 2020, utilizing locations in England, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and on Scotland’s Isle of Skye. Based on the partially censored image found in the database, it seems that filming may restart with an episode entitled “Mysterious Monsters”.
Filming will follow the UK’s new regulations for limiting the spread of COVID-19, including more frequent set cleaning and requiring actors and crew members to wear masks when not actively filming. It is not yet known whether Hivju, who was confirmed in April to have made a full recovery from the virus, will return to set.
It is unknown how much of the second season remains to be filmed, as production had begun in February prior to the shutdown in March. However, Netflix currently anticipates a Summer 2021 release, with an official date not yet announced.