Filming on the latest Fantastic Beasts movie starring Jude Law has been shut down after an outbreak of COVID-19 among the cast and crew.
Fears that the mutant South African strain was responsible has led to Warner Bros to temporarily halt production at their studios in Leavesden, Hertfordshire.
A set insider said there was concern the coronavirus variant was present in staff despite strict protocol measures put in place after a previous outbreak at the studio.
Paused: Filming on the latest Fantastic Beasts movie starring Jude Law has been shut down after an outbreak of COVID-19 among the cast and crew (pictured Katherine Waterston and Eddie Redmayne The Crimes of Grindelwald – 2018)
Last year production of the new Batman film shut down for two weeks after star Robert Pattinson caught the virus.
The studio was also the scene of a foul-mouthed rant by Tom Cruise after he spotted some of the crew on the set of Mission: Impossible7 ignoring social distancing.
A source at the Leavesden studio said film bosses are not revealing who among the cast and crew has contracted the virus. In September the dialect coach on set got it, but filming continued.
The source suggested that while crew can be replaced, for production to be suspended a principal member of the cast involved.
Concerns: Fears that the mutant South African strain was responsible has led to Warner Bros to temporarily halt production at their studios in Leavesden, Hertfordshire (pictured Jude Law in The Crimes of Grindelwald 2018)
‘Production is only halted if someone cannot be filmed. No one is saying who it is, but it’s someone who cannot be replaced,’ said the insider.
‘The studios have been one of the most secure Covid places since they reopened so there are real fears that it is the South African variant that has got through.
‘Everyone is assuming that it is the South African variant and that is all they are talking about.
‘All production of the film set for Fantastic Beasts 3 has been shut down. We don’t know when we will be back.’
Taking precaution: A set insider said there was concern the coronavirus variant was present in staff despite strict protocol measures put in place after a previous outbreak at the studio.
The studios are a 30-minute drive from Broxbourne in Hertfordshire, one of the ten areas in the UK where the mutant strain has been identified.
Fantastic Beasts 3 is the latest spin off series from the blockbuster Harry Potter movies and features a trio of British stars, Jude Law, Eddie Redmayne and Calum Turner
Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen, who played one of the villains in the James Bond film Casino Royale, was brought in as a late replacement for Johnny Depp.
Staying quiet: A source at the Leavesden studio said film bosses are not revealing who among the cast and crew has contracted the virus. In September the dialect coach on set got it, but filming continued
Warner Bros dropped Depp from the film after he lost a High Court libel case where he was accused of beating his wife Amber Heard.
The actor, who denied all the allegations, has appealed the verdict.
More than 2,000 people work at the Warner Bros studios and following their re-opening after the UK was put into its first lockdown and all film production halted strict safety measures were put in place.
A spokesman for Warner Bros has been contacted for comment.
Who is it? The source suggested that while crew can be replaced, for production to be suspended a principal member of the cast involved
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