Amazon Prime’s The Lord of the Rings series has shut down production in New Zealand, amid fears over coronavirus.
The country has had eight confirmed cases of the illness so far and most people who arrive there are now required to self-isolate for 14 days.
Filming on the untitled Lord of the Rings series will be suspended from today for at least the next two weeks, with no confirmed return date just yet.
A memo was sent to the cast and crew of the show explaining the motive behind the shutdown, which was later published by the New Zealand Herald.
It said: “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.”
The previous Lord of the Rings trilogy and the prequel Hobbit films all filmed in New Zealand, making it a natural fit for Middle Earth in the new series.
Amazon’s Lord of the Rings will be exclusive to Prime Video and reportedly has a budget of $1 billion.
Coronavirus has had a huge impact on the film and television industry, delaying numerous major productions.