Redanian Intelligence, experts in all things The Witcher return to What’s on Netflix for a recap of some of the biggest newest stories regarding The Witcher season 2, The Witcher: Blood Origin and anything else that’s of interest. Here’s the April 2021 update on all things The Witcher.
Back in February of 2020, and just a few months after the series debuted its first season on Netflix, The Witcher’s second season entered production in London. Filming had been scheduled to take approximately half an year. However, everything was changed by a global pandemic that struck just one month later. The Coronavirus would have prevented us from streaming the second season on Netflix. The original filming time of five to six months was replaced by a series hiatuses. Covid safety guidelines were also implemented, so it appeared that filming would continue on forever. This is not the case, however,
After thirteen months of filming, The Witcher’s final season has finally wrapped production, and Netflix were kind enough to share a behind-the-scenes video to celebrate the occasion, as well as seven new castings officially confirmed (and seven more confirmed by Redanian Intelligence). We were treated to some leaks of the set throughout March including details on upcoming flashbacks and our first glimpse at Wild Hunt. Besides The Witcher’s second season, we also have a few updates on the upcoming prequel series, Blood Origin.
The above YouTube video, which features behind-the scenes footage from season 2, was shared by Netflix following the wrap. It also includes a wonderful sendoff from Henry Cavill as well as Lauren Hissrich as showrunner. Cavill also posted an Instagram photo of him in his costume, holding on to a clapperboard for the final scene from season 2. Variety was also quoted.
“It has been fantastic to shoot The Witcher here in the U.K,” said The Witcher showrunner. “We have filmed at some incredible locations including Fountains Abbey, Blea Tarn, Hodge Close, Frensham Ponds, and of course, our comforting home at Arborfield Studios. We’ve assembled the best British talent and crew who have been passionate, professional and brilliant partners through such a complex and unprecedented filming experience. Now we can’t wait for everyone to see all of the hard work that has gone into this production.”
Hissrich, Cavill and other cast members celebrated the wrap via social media. Freya Allan (Ciri) was one of them.
After a year of relative secrecy with regards to season two’s new cast members, Netflix has finally broken silence by announcing (or confirming) seven key additions to the cast. Redanian Intelligence discovered seven more cast members, and the roles they played. We’ve gathered the new additions in the list below.
Many of these characters are fan favorites among readers of the novels and players of the video games, so we’re quite excited to see these new cast members in season two.
The most surprising leak so far from season 2 is that Wild Hunt will be appearing in season 2. Though they do show up multiple times in the novels, this doesn’t happen until later in the story. Netflix is expected to bring the Wild Hunt forward in season 2, which will feature Eredin, King of Wild Hunt. Sam Hazeldine will play Eredin.
Lucky for us, a few people were lucky enough to get photos of The Witcher's Wild Hunt dressed up at Saunton Sands, Devon. Unlike many of the shows other designs, which have deliberately strayed from the visuals depicted in CD Projekt RED’s video games, Netflix’s Wild Hunt look remarkably similar to The Witcher III’s, with their skeletal black armor.
Check out the complete gallery of photos in the Redanian Intelligence Report.
Netflix has confirmed two spinoffs to its main series. There are more being rumored. The first is an animated film titled Nightmare of the Wolf which will focus on a younger Vesemir (Geralt’s witcher-dad who will be introduced in season two), expected to release before the second season. A live-action series called Blood Origin is the second, which was originally scheduled to begin filming in May. Now it appears that the prequel’s production is facing delays, and as a result, the show has lost its lead actress Jodie Turner-Smith (as reported by Deadline).
Turner-Smith was cast in the role of Éile, described as “an elite warrior blessed with the voice of a goddess who has left her clan and position as Queen’s guardian to follow her heart as a nomadic musician. A grand reckoning on the continent forces her to return to the way of the blade in her quest for vengeance and redemption.” Now that Netflix must recast this important role, it’s possible the prequel will face further delays.
Netflix has already begun filming the prequel series despite the sad news about Jodie Turner Smith. All scripts have been completed, as shown in this tweet from the showrunner. It means that many interesting details, such as key personnel and possible filming locations have started to emerge.
Production Weekly is a reliable news source that reports Blood Origin will film in the United Kingdom as well as in the Canary Islands. This wouldn’t be the first time a Witcher crew will be visiting the Spanish islands, as the show’s first season filmed there extensively. It has beautiful beaches and lush forests, making it a great location for the prequel series.
In other news, Redanian Intelligence has found evidence suggesting season two director Sara O’Gorman (who also directed episodes for Cursed and The Last Kingdom) may reprise her role in the prequel series, alongside Witcher newcomer Vicky Jewson (Born of War, Close). These aren't confirmed but there is evidence that they could be the show's directors.
Showrunner Declan de Barra (who wrote the fourth episode of The Witcher season one and the first of the second season) will be joined by many of The Witcher’s key producers including Lauren Hissrich (the showrunner of the main series), Tomek Baginski (the Polish producer who first pitched the show as a movie to Netflix), and the duo of Jason Brown and Sean Daniels. Andrew Laws, the production designer will be back.
Redanian Intelligence confirmed the castings of two younger actors to play Geralt and Vesemir, in addition to all of those already mentioned. Young actor Alexander Squires will play Young Geralt. Young Vesemir is played by James Baxter of Still Open All Hours. A third casting may suggest that Baxter could reprise his role in the animated spin-off film Nightmare of the Wolf (also starring Vesemir), as Snatch’s Tamer Hassan is cast in the role of “Deglan”. Season two will feature all three of them.
Deglan was first mentioned in the synopsis of Nightmare of the Wolf: “Long before mentoring Geralt, Vesemir begins his own journey as a witcher after the mysterious Deglan claims him through the Law of Surprise.” Unless this is a completely different Deglan, it appears that Nightmare of the Wolf will tie into season two in this flashback sequence. It’s quite possible, then, that these actors (specifically Baxter and Hassan) will voice Vesemir and Deglan respectively in the animated film.
It's possible that we won't have to wait long for an answer. We expect to learn more about Nightmare of the Wolf very soon.
Filming was ongoing for several weeks in large sets at Arborfield Studios, Witcher Headquarters. We have some news to share about two of these sets: one appears to be the show’s take on the city of Oxenfurt, and the second suggests a return to Cintra. Be aware that there could be spoilers.
Blood of Elves readers will recall a memorable scene in which Geralt (Henry Cavill) fights Rience (Chris Fulton), the sadistic mage Rience (Chris Fulton), and a few mercenaries. Philippa Eilhart, played by Cassie Claire (in her owl) and in her human form also appears. The images taken on set suggest a massive town was built by the Netflix production, and we can’t wait to see their take on this iconic scene.
As for Cintra, it appears the show is filming an extensive flashback sequence as Bart Edwards (Ciri’s father Duny) and Gaia Mondadori (Ciri’s mother Pavetta), as well as Sonny Serkis (Ciri’s friend Martin), are all confirmed to return, and photos of another set from Arborfield Studios seem to depict the familiar walls of Cintra. Which flashbacks might be shown? One of the scenes could involve a Cintran dance, as there were several performers on-set during filming.
Does this mean Jodhi May’s Queen Calanthe will reprise her role as well? As she is an avid fan favourite, we certainly hope so.
It has been busy March for Witcher news. We can expect to watch the second season of Witcher on Netflix during the second half year, as filming has finished. Nightmare of the Wolf, the animated movie about the Nightmare of the Wolf, is due to be released before the season. Blood Origin, the prequel series will also soon begin production. Redanian Intelligence is on Twitter if you want to speed up the process.