July was perhaps the most exciting month in a long time for fans of The Witcher franchise, as it included a cavalcade of teasers, screenshots and reveals shown during the first-ever WitcherCon. Here’s your August 2021 roundup of everything new happening on Netflix’s The Witcher franchise.
The WitcherCon convention was the first time Netflix and game developer CD Projekt RED co-operated publicly and invited all Witcher fans (Netflix watchers, gamers and book readers) to celebrate the acclaimed series.
Besides the news from WitcherCon, a few more exciting tidbits were revealed throughout the month including:
- Writing begins for The Witcher Season 3
- Michelle Yeoh and more join the cast of Witcher prequel Blood Origin
- Netflix finally reveals The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf, as well as the anime film’s voice cast
- The first Teaser Trailer for The Witcher Season 2 focuses on Geralt and Ciri, and other WitcherCon highlights
Writing begins for The Witcher Season 3
The film-making process is a very long one, including pre-production, filming, and post-production, but it always begins with the writing of the scripts. As it happens, during July, Redanian Intelligence confirmed that the show’s third season has finally entered the writing stage.
It’s important to note that Netflix has not officially renewed the series for a third season yet, but with the massive hype surrounding the series and with two spinoffs in development, it’s likely an official confirmation of the renewal will come very soon. The second season, for instance, was renewed weeks before the first season dropped on Netflix.
Season two is set to release on December 17 this year, which means filming of the third season will occur sometime after that. Due to Henry Cavill’s busy schedule, we don’t expect him to be available immediately, and so it’s possible there will be another long wait between the second and third season. Thankfully, we have the prequel series The Witcher: Blood Origin to tide us over.
Michelle Yeoh and more join the cast Witcher prequel Blood Origin as filming begins in Iceland
Though the prequel series was largely excluded from the many panels and reveals of WitcherCon, this month marked the prequel’s biggest milestone yet as the series entered production in Iceland. The news of filming in the beautiful Icelandic landscape comes shortly after a major cast announcement: BAFTA nominee Michelle Yeoh (Star Trek: Discovery, Marco Polo, Shang Chi) has been cast in the role of Scian.
Scian is described as “the very last of her nomadic tribe of sword-elves. No one can come close to her artistry with the blade, and no one carries as much loss within their heart. When a chance presents itself to retrieve a stolen sacred sword, taken from her fallen tribe by nefarious means, she launches herself into a deadly quest that will change the outcome of the Continent.”
We have also learned from our sources that Scian will be the swordmaster of one of Blood Origin’s two central characters, Eile (played by Sophia Brown).
Additional castings uncovered by Redanian Intelligence include Ozioma Whenu, who will play Eile’s sister Niamh, as well as Nathaniel Curtis and Tut Nyuot in undisclosed roles. These new additions to the cast join Sophia Brown’s Eile and Laurence O’Fuarain’s Fjall (the show’s central characters).
Tomorrow we roll camera on the very first day of #TheWitcherBloodOrigin A story that came to me in a dream in November 2019 & was scribbled down on a napkin a few days later (really). Now 100s of beyond talented souls are bringing that literal dream to life. I am pinching meself.
— Declan de Barra (@declandebarra) July 28, 2021
Filming is currently underway in southern Iceland, with the above-mentioned cast members including Yeoh already spotted in the area. Filming has taken place in the vicinity of some of Iceland’s most beautiful waterfalls, Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss, so we wouldn’t be surprised if those appear in the show. Additionally, it seems that filming has taken place on the lava fields near the Eyjafjallajökull volcano and glacier.
When filming is done in Iceland, the cast and crew will transition back to the crew headquarters at Arborfield Studios near London. Additionally, the nearby Longcross Studios is likely to be used as well for the filming of the series. According to TheKnowledge, filming has already begun in England, so it’s possible the prequel is filming with two units simultaneously.
With production heating up, we’re excited to see what Blood Origin will bring to the Witcher franchise. Long before we’ll get to see it and even before Season Two releases, Netflix has another spinoff in the works.
Netflix finally reveals The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf, as well as the anime film’s voice cast
The anime film The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf is set to release this summer on August 23. Besides the fact that a younger Vesemir will be the central character and that a mysterious witcher called Deglan will be involved, not much was known about the upcoming anime film – until very recently. A couple of weeks after WitcherCon, Netflix finally unveiled the first teaser trailer for Nightmare of the Wolf, as well as the voice cast and a description of the film’s main characters.
Official synopsis: The world of The Witcher expands in this anime origin story: Before Geralt, there was his mentor Vesemir — a swashbuckling young witcher who escaped a life of poverty to slay monsters for coin. But when a strange new monster begins terrorizing a politically fraught kingdom, Vesemir finds himself on a frightening adventure that forces him to confront the demons of his past.
Vesemir will be voiced by Theo James, who briefly voiced the character in a flashback in The Witcher season one. In addition to starring roles in the Divergent series, James has already voiced characters in the animated Castlevania series and The Dark Crystal. In case you haven’t noticed, Vesemir will get his very own bathtub scene in the film, so in that sense, the parallels between him and Geralt are already birthing memes. This fan-favorite character will reappear in the second season of The Witcher, where he will be much older and wiser, and Killing Eve’s Kim Bodnia has been cast in the role.
Official character description: Vesemir grew up as a servant on a nobleman’s estate, working long days for too little coin. He yearns to break free of his social standing and to explore the Continent to find his destiny.
Tetra will be voiced by Laura Pulver, who’s had major roles in Sherlock, Da Vinci’s Demons, The Alienist and, most recently, Netflix’s animated adaptation Dota: Dragon’s Blood. The character is a brand new addition to the Witcher franchise, though she appears to fill the badass sorceress archetype fans of the series should be familiar with.
Official character description: Tetra Gilcrest is a powerful sorceress who is descended from one of the Continent’s first mages, and believes magic connects all things of beauty. She and her followers work to keep peace on the Continent by ensuring that magic is not abused.
Lady Zerbst will be voiced by Fargo and Battlestar: Galactica alum Mary McDonnell. This is a significant casting for the series, and we’re excited to see what McDonnell will bring to the role.
Official character description: Lady Zerbst is a Kaedwen noblewoman who inherited her husband’s seat on the king’s advisory council after his death. She has since risen to become one of the king’s most trusted advisors, and a fierce supporter of the witchers.
Last but not least is Deglan, who will be voiced by Graham McTavish. If that name seems familiar, it should be, as McTavish has already been cast in an entirely different role in The Witcher season two. McTavish will now portray Vesemir’s mentoring witcher Deglan alongside his role as the spymaster Dijkstra in the main series. His previous credits include Outlander and The Hobbit, as well as a memorable performance as Dracula in Netflix’s animated series Castlevania.
Official character description: Deglan was raised on the harsh, unforgiving Skellige Isles and is the hardened warrior-leader of the witchers. He is fiercely loyal to his “boys,” and committed to doing whatever is necessary to protect them.
First Teaser Trailer for The Witcher Season 2 focuses on Geralt and Ciri, and other WitcherCon highlights
While we have already covered all the news from WitcherCon, this is a great opportunity to revisit the many exciting reveals shown throughout the convention. Most notable among them is the first teaser trailer of The Witcher season two. The teaser heavily focuses on Geralt and Ciri, who are finally together after the events of season one. In the second season, Geralt will take Ciri to the witcher fortress of Kaer Morhen, where he spent much of his childhood training to become the monster slayer we know.
Kaer Morhen will be a major location in the upcoming season and will appear before that in the animated film Nightmare of the Wolf, which will also cover the major battle that left the fortress in ruins. Showrunner Lauren Hissrich confirmed this in a detailed video focusing on Kaer Morhen.
Hissrich also discussed the “perfect casting” of Vesemir and praised Kim Bodnia’s acting, and teased the upcoming relationship of Geralt and Ciri: “It was really fun to start Season 2 kind of with them a little uncertain about how to be with each other, and they have to really grow into that. We wanted to make sure that felt like an authentic relationship, that they weren’t just bonded at the very beginning.”
Besides the trailer and the reveal of season two and the anime film’s release dates, WitcherCon included multiple panels featuring the series’ main cast members. In one panel, Henry Cavill promised we will see a very different side of Geralt in season two, as he will become more talkative with Ciri around. Additionally, Cavill confirmed that Geralt will not (unfortunately) get another bathtub scene in the second season, but he promised there will be “plenty of man flesh to be observed”.
Besides the witcher himself, Cavill’s costars Anya Chalotra and Freya Allan, who portray Yennefer and Ciri respectively, also discussed the upcoming season. Chalotra teased the upcoming relationship of Yennefer and Ciri, who are set to meet in season two: “The most exciting thing for me was getting to know what it’s like to work with Freya and see what that dynamic was.” Meanwhile, Allan discusses her character’s iconic witcher training, which will be a major storyline in the second season: “Ciri begins training and it actually becomes one of her main kind of drives. She’s very determined, and she really wants to become a great fighter and become a witcher.”
Another highlight for fans of the bard Jaskier was a brief video of Joey Batey, who revealed Jaskier’s new “rockstar” look for season two. Besides the main cast and Batey, season one alum Mimi M Khayisa (Fringilla) and season two newcomers Basil Eidenbenz (Eskel) and Paul Bullion (Lambert) also shared details about their roles, which we covered in our article.
Netflix has also revealed the episode titles of seven of season two’s eight episodes as well as their logos, including what may well be the show’s new clip for the opening credits. We’ve broken down the episode titles and what they could mean in another article.
It’s been a busy month of news for us Witcher fans, but this month will be even better as it marks the release of the animated film Nightmare of the Wolf. Mark your calendars, as the first Witcher release in almost two years is dropping on Netflix on August 23.