Most film and TV productions now have tight biosecurity. After the initial COVID-19 outbreak severely disrupted the entertainment industry throughout 2020, strict new rules on cast and crew vaccinations, daily testing, limited contact, and bubbles were introduced. For a while it seemed as if things had started to return to normal… but it seems Hollywood wasn’t prepared for Omicron.
The Hollywood Reporter published a story earlier this week revealing Star Trek: Picard has been hit by a “sizeable COVID outbreak”, which has seen “more than 50 members” of the production testing positive. This emerged on the first day back after the holiday break, meaning many of them will have been traveling through airports after visiting family.
Paramount promptly slammed the brakes on and sent everyone home – which is prudent given that Patrick Stewart is 81. Now the reports are that production may resume as early as next week “if not sooner”.
We don’t know whether this means they’ve reworked their plans to accommodate the missing crew, sourced temporary replacements, or simply received negative PCR tests from those affected, but it’s sounding like it’ll be a minor setback rather than a disaster.
It also doesn’t seem that the delay will affect the release date too much. Picard is filming seasons two and three back to back, with work on the upcoming second season having concluded last fall. That should mean the February 2022 premiere is now locked in, with season three likely due in February 2023.
So, fingers crossed they can make up the lost time and get this show back on the road. In the meantime, here’s hoping all those testing positive enjoy a speedy recovery and that this is one of the last major COVID-19-related delays.
Star Trek: Picard will return on Paramount Plus in 2022.