Actor Kristofer Hivju was reportedly on the set of The Witcher Season 2 before he tested positive for coronavirus. The Game of Thrones alum was diagnosed with COVID-19 on Monday, but according to a report by Deadline, he had already been working on his new fantasy show before that. Netflix is undertaking a deep cleaning of the set before resuming production.
Fans were overjoyed last month when it was confirmed that Hivju would be joining the cast of The Witcher in Season 2. The actor is known for playing Tormund Giantsbane on Game of Thrones, and now most suspect he will play Nivellen in The Witcher. First, however, he will have to get his health in order.
"Greetings from Norway! Sorry to say that I, today, have tested positive for COVID19, Coronavirus," Hivju wrote in an Instagram post on Monday. "My family and I are self-isolating at home for as long as it takes. We are in good health — I only have mild symptoms of a cold."
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Greetings from Norway! Sorry to say that I, today, have tested positive for COVID19, Corona virus. My familiy and I are self-isolating at home for as long as it takes. We are in good health - I only have mild symptoms of a cold. There are people at higher risk for who this virus might be a devastating diagnosis, so I urge all of you to be extremely careful; wash your hands, keep 1,5 meters distance from others, go in quarantine; just do everything you can to stop the virus from spreading. Together we can fight this virus and avert a crisis at our hospitals. Please take care of each other, keep your distance, and stay healthy! Please visit your country's Center for Disease Control's website, and follow the regulations for staying safe and protecting not just yourselves, but our entire community, and especially those at risk like the elderly and people with pre-existing conditions. @grymolvaerhivju #fightcorona #solidarity #takecare #folkehelseinstituttet Thanks to @panoramaagency
The announcement came a few hours after the news that Netflix had suspended production of The Witcher Season 2, which was filming in several locations around Europe. The company said that an "individual" on set had contracted coronavirus, apparently referring to Hivju.
Netflix said that it had already paused production before learning about Hivju's diagnosis, but would now be "arranging for deep cleaning and disinfection" of the set. Many TV shows and movies have shut down work indefinitely, with no telling when it might resume.
"We are in the process of contacting those who were in close contact with the relevant individual," Netflix continued in its statement to reporters. "However, due to the nature of this production, it is recommended that crew and cast self-quarantine for 14 days, monitor their temperature, and seek medical advice if they experience any symptoms."
Hivju is set to appear in the first episode of The Witcher Season 2, which will be an adaptation of the short story "A Grain of Truth," published in Andrzej Sapkowski's book The Last Wish. Fans assume he will play the character Nivellen, a wealthy aristocrat who has been cursed for the crimes of his past. A chance encounter with Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill) could be Nivellen's saving grace, or lead to a darker fate.
Even before the coronavirus epidemic broke, there was no release date in place for The Witcher Season 2. Industry insiders were hoping to see the series return in early 2021, but production is now paused until further notice. In the meantime, Hivju asks fans to take care of themselves and each other.
"There are people at higher risk for who this virus might be a devastating diagnosis, so I urge all of you to be extremely careful; wash your hands, keep 1.5 meters distance from others, go in quarantine; just do everything you can to stop the virus from spreading," he wrote.