Surging COVID-19 cases keep TWD production at standstill

BTS, Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier, Director Michael E. Satrazemis - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 14 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
BTS, Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier, Director Michael E. Satrazemis - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 14 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC /

Rising COVID-19 cases prevent TWD protection from resuming any time soon

Work on The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead seems to be on an indefinite hiatus as COVID-19 cases increase in Los Angeles (where post-production takes place), Georgia (where TWD films) and Austin, Texas (where Fear the Walking Dead films). Though scripts are written, work on both shows will not resume until it is safe to do so.

California had been successful at flattening the COVID-19 curve early on, but cases have been surging and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti reported that the region is fast running out of hospital beds and, most importantly, ICU beds. Garcetti has not ruled out a renewed shelter in place order to slow the spread of the virus. Though film and TV production had been given the green light to resume work back in early June, the recent rise in cases will very likely keep work from progressing.

What this means is that any post-production work yet to be completed, be it on The Walking Dead season 10 finale, episodes of Fear the Walking Dead or even World Beyond, probably won’t be done until there is a decline in cases.

Fear the Walking Dead has called Austin its production home since the beginning of season 4 after the show jumped ahead in the timeline and left Baja California for the American Southwest. The show had already filmed the first half of season 6 when production shut down in Austin.

That means that scripts are ready and work can resume as soon as it is safe to do so, but given that many members of the cast and crew left the area when shelter in place orders went into effect, that means they all need to feel safe enough to travel back to Austin and now does not seem to be the right time.

Though Texas was not hit as hard by the novel coronavirus at the start of the pandemic, an alarming increase in cases and hospitalizations is pushing Austin toward a possible lockdown situation.

Similarly, Georgia is seeing record numbers of cases and it has become so bad the Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has ordered that the city return to Phase 1. That’s a huge move, but a necessary one given that COVID-19 cases are skyrocketing. (Bottoms herself tested positive for the virus)

With the outbreak as severe as it is, filming isn’t remotely possible under current conditions. The health and safety of the case and crew is more important than getting back to work and risking an outbreak that would shut production down again.

Related Story. How to prepare for The Walking Dead Universe panels at Comic-Con at Home. light

Thankfully, Comic-Con at Home is coming up July 22-26 and all three shows in the TWD Universe will have virtual panel presentations. It will be a great opportunity for the showrunners to give fans an update on filming and any plans in place to start filming soon.