While the third season of Netflix’s The Witcher was in production, the streamer quietly started the development of The Rats, a new prequel series centered on a group of teenage renegades who will be introduced at the end of Season 3. Here’s what we know so far about the new upcoming spin-off.
The new series is created by The Witcher writer Haily Hall, who also serves as showrunner. Shadow and Bone and The Sandman director Mairzee Almas is also attached to direct an unknown amount of episodes. The Witcher showrunner Lauren Hissrich and executive producer Tomek Baginski are also producing this series.
The Rats series still hasn’t been officially announced by Netflix even after the release of season 3, volume 1, but it has been common knowledge for many months now with cast and crew already actively filming on location.
The initial information about the series was published by Redanian Intelligence back in November 2022. What’s on Netflix also has sources that stated the project was in development, with it being internally called Riff Raff.
What’s the plot of The Rats?
The plot of The Rats isn’t based on any book or storyline from The Witcher author Andrzej Sapkowski, but rather takes the characters and creates its own backstory for them before they meet Ciri at the end of The Witcher Season 3.
So far, we only have a short logline:
“Six teenage thieves must rely on their criminal skills as they plan the biggest heist of their careers against the most dangerous crime ring in the kingdom.”
Who is cast in The Witcher spin-off The Rats?
The gang of teenage criminals called The Rats consists of Giselher, Mistle, Kayleigh, Iskra, Reef, and Asse.
They are played by Ben Radcliffe, Christelle Elwin, Fabian McCallum, Aggy K. Adams, Juliette Alexandra, and Connor Crawford, respectively. They all make their first appearance in The Witcher Season 3 and will reprise their roles in this spin-off.
Additionally, the 80s and 90s action star Dolph Lundgren has been cast as a ruthless rogue witcher from the School of the Cat called Brehen. Brehen briefly appears in Andrzej Sapkowski’s Season of Storms where he has a confrontation with Geralt of Rivia. In The Rats, Brehen’s role is unclear.
Other suspected cast includes Deoudone van der Merwe, Warren Masemola, Stevel Marc, Max Boast, and Daniela Norman.
What’s the production status of The Rats?
The Rats series got into production under the codename ‘Riff Raff’ in Cape Town, South Africa. Filming started there in late April and was originally expected to conclude in September 2023, however, as Redanian Intelligence reports in July 2023, the series has wrapped filming.
That’s led to speculation about what form Rats (or Riff Raff) will eventually materialize as. The number of episodes in The Rats is currently unknown, but it could be as low as four, like The Witcher: Blood Origin.
What’s the Netflix release date for The Rats?
Netflix hasn’t announced the series yet, let alone its release date, but judging by what we know so far; an early to mid-2024 release would be likely.
This is one of two major spin-offs Netflix is currently working on for The Witcher, which itself is renewed through to season 5. The other spin-off is another anime movie named The Witcher: Sirens of the Deep.
Are you looking forward to Netflix’s Rats spin-off? Let us know in the comments down below.