Forget winter, the delta variant is coming. As Deadline reports, HBO has paused production on the Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon after a member of the cast or crew tested positive for COVID-19.
The UK set has been shut down for a minimum of two days. The person who caught the novel coronavirus will isolate, and those who had been working closely with them are entering quarantine. As long as there are no more positive tests, production will pick back up on Wednesday, July 21st.
Based on George R.R. Martin’s 2018 book Fire and Blood and set 300 years before Game of Thrones, House of the Dragon delves into the history of House Targaryen. It stars Emma D’Arcy, Olivia Cooke, Rhys Ifans, Matt Smith, and Steve Toussaint. In May, we got a first look at the series, including more shock-white wigs than a Marilyn Monroe impersonator convention. Assuming there aren’t too many more delays, it’s expected to land on HBO and HBO Max in 2022.
This is but the first GoT spinoff out of the gate, with early production already begun on Tales of Dunk and Egg, an animated series in the works, and three more series announced in March: 9 Voyages, 10,000 Ships, and an untitled story set in Flea Bottom. Not all of these projects may see the light of day, as evidenced by the Naomi Watts-starring prequel that got axed in 2019 after filming the pilot.
Meanwhile, COVID-19 infections are on the rise, and so are related production delays. Just in the last week, Foo Fighters had to reschedule a Los Angeles show after a positive COVID test, and a music festival in the Netherlands was linked to more than 1,000 new cases, despite holding the event outdoors and requiring proof of negative COVID status for entry.