Over here in the states, some are going back to previous phases as COVID-19 cases spike, but in some places, overseas things are returning to pseudo-normal, and that includes New Zealand. New Zealand was incredibly strict regarding their coronavirus procedures and precautions, and because of that, they've been able to keep new cases of COVID-19 to a minimum. While they are keeping their borders closed, they are granting border exemptions to several productions, including Amazon's The Lord of the Rings, Netflix's Cowboy Bebop and Sweet Tooth, and Hasbro's Power Rangers Beast Morphers, as well as Peter Farrelly's Greatest Beer Run Ever.
The productions include 206 cast and crew as well as 35 family members, who will be allowed to enter New Zealand in the next six months, and those join 10 additional crew for James Cameron's Avatar sequels. Regardless of which production they are associated with, all new arrival swill need to self-quarantine.
The Lord of the Rings had just about two episodes in the can before production was shut down in March, and is set to resume filming in September. As for Cowboy Bebop, the show had already been on a long hiatus due to John Cho's knee injury on the set during the filming of the first few episodes, though no specific month or date for filming has been revealed as of yet.
As for Power Rangers, it's unclear why the series is resuming filming, as Beast Morphers season 2 was already completed and in fact has already aired its remaining episodes internationally, though they have yet to air in the states. It's honestly probably referring to the new season of Power Rangers, which was being cast when the coronavirus pandemic shut down most productions. Once the casting process is complete they will go on to film the new seasons. of the show, which will be titled Dino Fury.
Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford announced more funding for international and domestic film and TV projects on Wednesday. "Our success at managing COVID-19 gives our country an opportunity to become one of the few countries still able to safely produce screen content," Twyford said at Parliament, per Staff. "And the inquiries and interest we are getting from international production houses tells me that the international film community sees New Zealand as something of a global safe haven."
It looks like at least some productions are moving forward, and that's a good sign.