Even Middle-Earth isn’t safe from Covid-19, it seems.

According to the New Zealand Herald, the production of Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series has been suspended for two weeks due to the coronavirus. Production had been “well into shooting”, a crew member had told the website.

The website obtained a watermarked copy of a memorandum sent to the production’s cast and crew. It read, “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.”

It seems that the move was an act of prevention rather than one of reaction, however (not that it’s a bad thing). The New Zealand Herald cites the memorandum as saying, “We are doing this to minimise stress on the resources and infrastructures around us by doing our part to reduce population density in our communities and daily activities, in efforts to help reduce the spread of the virus.”

Disney also halted productions on their Disney Plus Marvel shows recently, so Amazon’s move isn’t too surprising. The shutdown period is indefinite in Disney’s case though, and I wonder if Amazon will eventually prolong their own production’s suspension.

There’s a lot about the new Lord of the Rings show that we still don’t know about, but we do know that the first season will have twenty episodes and will cover the Second Age of Middle Earth’s timeline. It’s already been renewed for a second season too.

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