With filming resumed in the production headquarters at Arborfield Studios, Henry Cavill has joined Freya Allan and several new cast members on the set of The Witcher season two. Meanwhile, casting has begun for the prequel series now in development at Netflix, with Game of Thrones and Aquaman star Jason Momoa as the main candidate for the series lead: the first witcher ever created. Read on for a recap of the month’s greatest Witcher news so far.
- Netflix eyes Jason Momoa for the lead role of The Witcher prequel and Momoa appears to be interested
- Henry Cavill and Freya Allan film scenes at Kaer Morhen with new cast members
- The Witcher supporting cast celebrate their return to the set
- A surprising cast member returns to The Witcher in season two
- Spoiler report from the filming at Kaer Morhen
Netflix eyes Jason Momoa for the lead role of The Witcher prequel and Momoa appears to be interested
When the rumour was first shared by We Got This Covered, fans were sceptical about Jason Momoa’s involvement with the show. As it stands, Momoa’s schedule is rather full, with him already signed for the upcoming Aquaman sequel and other television shows such as Amazon’s See. However, when Momoa’s name was attached to the production by insider Daniel Richtman and notable industry source Production Weekly, it was clear that Netflix is indeed hoping to pursue Momoa for the role.
The role Netflix hopes to give to Momoa is that of the very first witcher ever created, which is the lead role in the upcoming spinoff titled The Witcher: Blood Origin. When the prequel was first announced, Netflix described it as follows: “Set in an elven world — 1200 years before the world of The Witcher — Blood Origin will tell a story lost to time and the events that lead to the pivotal Conjunction of the Spheres when the worlds of monsters, men, and elves merged to become one.”
Though the Conjunction itself happened some 1200 years before the events of The Witcher, the creation of the first witcher only occurred 300 years prior to the show’s first season (according to Netflix’s official timeline). This raises the question of how Momoa’s role will play into the story, and whether the limited series (set to last six episodes) will play with timelines in a similar fashion to The Witcher’s first season.
We know Netflix is interested in Momoa, but what about Momoa himself? Shortly after the rumor was confirmed, Momoa shared the popular piece of fan art seen above (created by Instagram’s @SPDRMNKYXXIII) depicting Moma as a witcher beside Henry Cavill’s Geralt. It appears, then, that Momoa is amused by the idea. That being said, his schedule remains rather full, so it’s still difficult to figure out the odds of Momoa getting the role. With luck, he could be announced officially in the coming weeks, but it’s just as likely that the deal will not fall through.
Henry Cavill and Freya Allan film scenes at Kaer Morhen with new cast members
With filming resumed in August, the cast and crew behind The Witcher season two are hard at work on the show’s first and second episodes under Umbrella Academy director Stephen Surjik. In the first two weeks of August, filming had taken to The Witcher headquarters in Arborfield Studios, where Geralt (Henry Cavill) invited Ciri (Freya Allan) to the witcher fortress of Kaer Morhen.
Having undergone his training at Kaer Morhen, as well as the chemical transformation of the Trial of the Grasses, Geralt takes Ciri there to protect her from those who seek to find her and make use of her powers. There, Ciri will meet many of Geralt’s old friends, including his mentor and father figure Vesemir (played by Killing Eve’s Kim Bodnia). Fans of the video game trilogy will recognize two more of these witchers – Eskel (Thue Rasmussen) and Lambert (Paul Bullion) – but readers of Andrzej Sapkowski’s saga will be more excited with the casting of the witcher Coën (Yasen Atour). All were present for filming throughout the first two weeks of August, and they were joined by a number of new faces neither book readers nor gamers will recognize.
If you wish to watch season two with no prior knowledge of its plot, it’s best to skip our spoiler report (at the bottom of this article). If you’re eager to learn more details about the show and the changes we can expect from the source material in season two, make sure not to miss it.
The Witcher supporting cast celebrate their return to the set
Aside from Ciri and the witchers of Kaer Morhen, several other cast members returning from season one have taken to social media to celebrate their return to the set.
The first is Royce Pierreson, who plays the sorcerer Istredd in the show. Viewers will remember Istredd as Yennefer’s first love interest, whom she met while studying at the Aretuza school of sorceresses. Readers of the novels will know that Istredd appeared in an important short story, A Shard of Ice, which has not yet been adapted in the show. Whether season two will delve into that short story or replace it with original material remains to be seen.
Besides Pierreson, another magical character is set to return: the beautiful sorceress Sabrina Glevissig. One of Yennefer’s classmates, Sabrina was last seen fighting in season one’s climactic Battle of Sodden, where she was severely wounded. It is likely that Sabrina will once again be involved in Yennefer’s storyline, as they face the consequences of the battle.
It’s not just mages that will make a return for the second season, but elves as well. Tom Canton, who plays the one-time elven king Filavandrel, has once again returned to the set. This should come as no surprise, as Filavandrel was spotted when pictures leaked from the set of season two back before production was halted for COVID concerns.
You dirty humans make an Elf work up a sweat…
But, vermin dh'oine… it's so good to be back….
— TOM CANTON (@Tom_Canton) September 11, 2020
Joining Canton is another familiar elf, Dara. Played by Wilson Radjou-Pujalte, Dara was an original character created specifically for the show. In season one, Dara travelled with Ciri as she escaped the Nilfgaardian army and the knight Cahir (Eamon Farren). After an emotional separation, Dara and Ciri parted ways. How the character will figure into season two is anyone’s guess – but it’s possible he’ll join the elven army of the Scoia’tael, as they will be introduced in the coming season.
A surprising cast member returns to The Witcher in season two
Besides the aforementioned characters, one returning cast member comes as a particular surprise. The character named Danica, played by Imogen Daines, was introduced in season one’s third episode, when she offered her services to Henry Cavill’s Geralt in a brothel. In season one, Danica portrayed a sex worker, but the events covered in that episode occurred some twenty years before the beginning of season two (owing to the show’s perplexing timelines).
Whether Danica will appear in some sort of flashback or be significantly older than we last saw her remains to be seen, as is her actual role in the show. One possibility speculated on by Redanian Intelligence is that the character will share a scene with another sex worker who will be introduced in season two according to a leaked casting sheet. Codenamed “Anna”, this character was described as “a fierce sex worker who joins a group of soldiers that she isn’t afraid to boss around”.
Daines is set to appear in an episode directed by Stephen Surjik, who is in charge of episodes one and two.
Spoiler report from the filming at Kaer Morhen
Throughout the first two weeks of September, filming took place at the sets that make up Kaer Morhen within Arborfield Studios. Besides the characters mentioned above (Ciri and the witchers), several new cast members have participated in the filming of what appears to be an original sequence of events not taken from Sapkowski’s novels. Once again, be warned that the details below may spoil scenes from season two. Read on at your own discretion.
Season two will introduce several new witchers, with multiple stuntmen and a couple of actors of diverse racial backgrounds joining Geralt and his old friends. It appears that these new witchers have participated in a complex fight sequence filmed over the last two weeks. What could they be fighting? Speculation has suggested that they could be fighting each other, a monster (such as the previously confirmed Leshy), or some external force of humans. Some fans have speculated that these events belong to a flashback sequence depicting the fall of Kaer Morhen, though that would not explain Ciri’s presence on set.
A number of actresses also joined the cast for the filming at Kaer Morhen. This comes as a surprise for two reasons: there are no female witchers, and only witchers are supposed to know Kaer Morhen’s location. Among these actresses, there are a notable number of models.
Redanian Intelligence speculates that one of these new actresses could be the aforementioned character “Anna”, described as “a fierce sex worker who joins a group of soldiers that she isn’t afraid to boss around”. If this is the case, the soldiers mentioned in the casting sheet would actually be witchers. Other fans guessed that these actresses will portray sorceresses who come to Kaer Morhen. Naturally, we’ll have to wait for season two to find out more.
Season two of The Witcher is set to complete filming in February of 2021, with a possible release in August (though this has not been confirmed by Netflix). Once the filming of season two is completed, production will begin on the prequel Blood Origin (with or without Jason Momoa). Meanwhile, the animated spinoff film Nightmare of the Wolf is currently in the works and will likely release closer to season two.
Stay tuned with Redanian Intelligence and What’s on Netflix for all the latest Witcher news.