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The Witcher Season 2 Images Show the New Reality of Making Shows During a Pandemic

Yennefer (Anya Chalotra) practicing some social distancing.
Yennefer (Anya Chalotra) practicing some social distancing.
Photo: Netflix

Masks, shields, barriers, and a whole lot of social distancing. Netflix’s The Witcher is gearing up to resume production on season two, and already we’re getting a glimpse at what life behind the scenes will be like—not only for Geralt of Rivia, but the future of television in general.

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Netflix announced last month that The Witcher would resume production on August 17, following a temporary shutdown because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich is already on location getting things ready, along with episode directors Sarah O’Gorman and Stephen Surjik. Winter Is Coming first reported the three show leads taking Witcher fans behind the curtain at what filming is like in a post-pandemic world.

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This first picture, from Surjik, is probably the starkest—as it shows what the directors’ viewing tent will look like during filming. They’re wearing masks, sitting six feet apart, and separated by a large plastic barrier. That’s a lot of steps, although each of them are necessary.

Hissrich and O’Gorman have likewise shared several pictures of what production has been like during the pandemic, including these ones of each of them donning masks and hard hats to check out the set. Some of them are also donning face shields in addition to their masks, as Hissrich showed in a recent photo. It’s just all masks, all the time.

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None of the actors look to be on set yet, although Freya Allan (Ciri) did post this pre-production shot saying she’s looking forward to returning. Right now, it’s unclear how the show is going to handle things in front of the camera, with actors doing their Witcher thing sans masks—especially the scenes that involve tons of extras. I’m guessing they’ll be doing regular testing and encouraging actors to stay isolated when not on set, although it’s still going to be a major challenge.

The Witcher is set to return with season two sometime in 2021. There are two additional Witcher projects in the works at Netflix—including the anime The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf, which tells the story of Vesemir, and The Witcher: Blood Origin, a prequel series set in the distant past about the first witcher.

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Video Editor and Staff Writer at io9. My doppelganger is that rebelling greeting card from Futurama.

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DISCUSSION

ComradeDread

Right about now, being a faceless goon with a mask in an evil overlord’s army sounds like a good job to have.