Redanian Intelligence returns to What’s on Netflix for their mid-October 2020 roundup of all the latest news and happenings with the production of season two of The Witcher, news on the spin-offs and anything else of interest. You can catch the October 2020 The Witcher Season 2 initial roundup here if you missed it.
It will be quite some time before The Witcher’s Henry Cavill (Geralt), Anya Chalotra (Yennefer), and Freya Allan (Ciri) come together again on our small screens, as the second season of Netflix’s fantasy series is only expected to drop next summer. Of course, the release could suffer further delays depending on the United Kingdom’s COVID policy. While we wait, let’s take a look behind the scenes of the show’s filming offers a sneak peek at the second season. Read our recap of October’s biggest stories so far including new promotional photos, a possible confirmation on season three, yet another potential spinoff, and behind-the-scenes pictures of The Witcher’s filming.
After months of silence from The Witcher’s marketing team, Netflix has finally provided us an official first look at the show’s second season (check out the full gallery here). The first images were released on Henry Cavill’s Instagram page, where he revealed Geralt’s beautiful new suit of armor. Cavill’s photos were followed by an official reveal of Freya Allan’s new Ciri costume and, lastly, Anya Chalotra’s Yennefer.
Besides providing us a first look at the work of season two’s new costume designer Lucinda Wright, these pictures also hint at the stories yet to come. The images show Ciri in a brand new costume and training with a sword. Yennefer seems to have been caught. Netflix has also unveiled season two’s official synopsis that same week, as first reported by Deadline.
“Convinced Yennefer’s life was lost at the Battle of Sodden, Geralt of Rivia brings Princess Cirilla to the safest place he knows, his childhood home of Kaer Morhen. While the Continent’s kings, elves, humans, and demons strive for supremacy outside its walls, he must protect the girl from something far more dangerous: the mysterious power she possesses inside.”
Our Spoiler Report is a short article that reveals some exciting details about season 2 and shows behind-the scenes photos.
Even before the release of The Witcher’s first season, rumors had been circulating that Netflix was giving the show the “Sabrina treatment”, meaning that three seasons were ordered ahead of time. Netflix has not commented on the rumors that were first reported by KC Walsh. It is likely that a lot more time has passed.
A new listing on The Witcher’s Writers’ Guild of America page seemingly confirms that the third season is in fact in the works at Netflix. Since it was reported, any mention of the third season was removed from the show’s WGA page, but not before the story went viral. WGA is a trusted industry resource so, while the third season hasn’t been officially announced, it’s safe to assume Netflix is preparing for it.
Season three will not be finished for many years, and Netflix is currently focusing on the second season. Two Witcher spinoffs were announced and it now appears that Netflix is considering another.
The Witcher already has two spinoffs. The first, titled Nightmare of the Wolf, is an animated film starring Geralt’s mentor Vesemir expected to release before season two. The second spinoff, titled Blood Origin, is a live-action limited series set hundreds of years before the main story, and Netflix is hoping to cast Aquaman’s Jason Momoa in a lead role. Industry insider Daniel Richtman announced that Netflix was considering another series focused on sorceresses and mages.
Richtman, a reliable source regarding The Witcher has uncovered the casting sheet for season 2 before filming started and confirmed our earlier rumor about Kristofer Hivju (Game of Thrones) joining the cast. It’s important to note that Richtman only says this spinoff is being considered, meaning it’s very likely that Netflix will wait to see how the other spinoffs fare before making any decision.
What mages or sorceresses might appear in this spinoff? As the Witcher's season 2 casting leaks and casting announcements have been revealing, fans hope that Philippa Eilheart will be cast as the lead role.
For a long time, the reason behind director Alik Sakharov’s early departure from the first season of The Witcher was kept under wraps. Lauren Hissrich, the showrunner of The Witcher, recently addressed this matter in a Twitter Q&A.
A new interview with Forbes Russia revealed Sakharov’s side of this story. “In my perception, Eastern-European literature has a completely different pace. Andrzej Sapkowski is a master at creating characters and storylines. They had to set an exciting pace for the adaptation and add colorful special effects. This was their vision. They had a very different vision than mine and they tried to understand it. I explained my reasoning to them. Unfortunately, I was not considered convincing enough, so I decided to leave the project.” Also in the interview, Sakharov praises Henry Cavill’s performance, calling him “the best thing in The Witcher”.
This wouldn’t be the first time a director departs a project due to creative differences, as this is a rather common occurrence in the film industry.
The Witcher cast and crew are busy filming season 2.
The Highgate Cemetery, London was one of the most fascinating places the crew has visited in recent years. Besides its unique beauty and historical significance (housing the grave of a certain Karl Marx), the cemetery was also home to numerous ghost stories and the famous “Highgate Vampire”. The cemetery’s overgrown graves and many tombs will certainly match the show’s aesthetic.
While we don’t know for sure which scenes were filmed there, Redanian Intelligence speculates that the mages Vilgefortz (Mahesh Jadu) and Stregobor (Lars Mikkelsen) are involved, as Jadu has recently shared a picture of himself and Mikkelsen at a similar-looking cemetery. You can read the full report for more speculation.
The Witcher’s cast and crew have now taken to Northern England’s beautiful Lake District, where filming is expected to last approximately three weeks. One sighting at the town of Ambleside suggests that star Henry Cavill is already there, and it’s likely that co-stars Anya Chalotra and Freya Allan will join him soon if they haven’t already.
Filming will begin near Rydal, a lakeside community. Rydal Cave is where the crew will be filming throughout the week. Our full report contains more information and photos of Rydal Cave, where The Witcher is currently being shot.
Freya Allan, the Ciri actress, was seen earlier in October filming at Chobham Common in London. It appears that this is part of a dream sequence or vision, in which Ciri uses her special magical abilities.
A prop tree was installed in the forest, which had been plagued by wildfires recently, and it allegedly lit up with smoke during filming. Fans have since speculated that the tree will be struck by lightning, or perhaps by Ciri’s magic. Ciri is met by two women after he arrives in the scorched forests.
Because of her elven ears, her ashen hair, and a previous tip from one of our sources, Redanian Intelligence speculates that one of the women could be Lara Dorren, Ciri’s ancestor.
Readers of Andrzej Sapkowski’s novels will be familiar with Lara, as her Elder Blood is the source of Ciri’s powers. Lara, a legendary historical figure of the Continent is especially remembered for her relationship with Cregennan the Lod, a human sorcerer. Redanian Intelligence also speculates that the second woman seen with Ciri is Queen Cerro, who refused to save Lara but later adopted her daughter Riannon, another of Ciri’s ancestors.
This is an educated guess. It is not yet known who these women are and how they relate to Ciri. The full Redanian report contains more photos and an analysis.
The Witcher’s longest location shoot (since the show returned from the COVID hiatus) took place in the forests near the town of Deepcut. Long shoots like this usually involve multiple scenes, or complex sequences, such as fight sequences. Towards the end of the filming at Deepcut, we were able to confirm that all three lead cast members had been present for filming (though Yennefer’s scene appears to be separate from the one involving Geralt and Ciri).
A sheet of fake snow was used to decorate the location, along with several rocks and interesting vines, which were then twisted around local trees. A wild boar, in addition to the actors and set dressings, was brought into the filming area at one time. Locals took pictures of the set over the weekend and gave an intimate look into a particular location on the Continent.
Redanian Intelligence believes that Geralt and Ciri discovered the lair and monster because of the mystery vines. The monster in season 2 could either be the Leshy, also known to gamers as a leese or the Myriapod, a huge centipede. Maybe Geralt took Ciri with her to hunt the monster during her witcher training.
Regarding Yennefer’s scene, we believe that it was filmed in another section of the forest (likely one that wasn’t covered in fake snow), and may have involved an elven woman as well. The scene in question is likely a continuation to the Yennefer storyline, as shown in the leaked photographs from February. She is then captured by the elves.
We hope October continues to be a busy month for Witcher news. The crew will soon begin filming in the Lake District. Follow Redanian Intelligence’s Twitter page for all the latest updates regarding The Witcher and its spinoffs.