Netflix Suspends Production on 'The Witcher' in the U.K. Due to Coronavirus

The series becomes the first Netflix show in Britain to be impacted by the growing crisis, while BBC hit dramas 'Peaky Blinders' and 'Line of Duty' also unveil production delays.

Netflix's The Witcher has become the latest addition to the growing pool of major productions impacted by the coronavirus. 

Filming on the second season of the fantasy video game adaptation series, starring Henry Cavill in the title role, has been suspended for two weeks, starting Monday, making it the first Netflix production to grind to a halt in the U.K. 

"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)," said a source close to production, and part of an email sent to the production team Sunday night. "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."

Added the note: "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." 

The Hollywood Reporter understands that cast and crew will continue to be paid during the hiatus, while Netflix is working alongside its production partners on other scripted series currently shooting in the U.K., of which there are less than five. Among them is The Crown, which is still shooting but nearing the end of production. 

Mid-day Monday, a BBC representative also unveiled delays in the productions of the latest seasons of hit dramas Peaky Blinders and Line of Duty. "In light of the spread of COVID-19, after much consideration, the producers Caryn Mandabach Productions and Tiger Aspect Productions of Peaky Blinders season 6 have postponed filming, and World Productions on Line of Duty season 6 have suspended filming, both in consultation with and supported by the BBC."

Georg Szalai in London contributed to this report.