Season two of Star Trek series Picard is set to arrive on Paramount+ next month, but the show’s still in production, keeping to a schedule structured to film seasons two and three back to back. Or it was in production until this week, when the sci-fi show temporarily ground to a halt for exactly the reason you’re thinking.
The Hollywood Reporter broke the news: “Sources say more than 50 members of the large production tested positive on Monday, which was the first day of work after the Christmas break. The Patrick Stewart-led series has one of television’s biggest crews, numbering more than 450 staffers. The infections impacted multiple zones, including cast in zone A.” The trade also noted that production is expected to resume next week, “if not sooner, though details remain in limbo.”
Deadline soon issued its own report on the story with additional information, namely that lead actor Stewart was not among the Picard cast and crew who tested positive for the virus. It also added that the Los Angeles-based show was in production on season two at the time of the shutdown.
Given the state of the world and the rapid spread of the highly contagious omicron variant, this news isn’t particularly surprising—welcome to Hollywood’s new normal in these pandemic times—though the sheer number of positive test cases, especially now that the industry has widely adopted strict covid protocols, is still startling. Presumably this production interruption won’t affect next month’s season two premiere, though no announcement has yet been made on that front.
In addition to Stewart, Picard also stars Alison Pill, Isa Briones, Evan Evagora, Michelle Hurd, Santiago Cabrera, Jeri Ryan, Orla Brady, and Brent Spiner.
Update, Jan 7, 1:45pm: Well... that shutdown didn’t last long, according to this tweet from Picard showrunner Terry Matalas:
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