Redanian Intelligence brings us all the latest Netflix news regarding The Witcher. Below, they’ll take you through the latest on The Witcher season 3, The Witcher: Blood Origin and everything else!
On September 9, Netflix finally wrapped filming on The Witcher’s anticipated third season, completing a journey that began way back in March.
While we wait for the editors, composers, and visual effects artists to complete their work and deliver the finished product to Netflix, we’ve got quite a bit of news to cover.
This month’s roundup features a brief recap of what we can expect from next week’s TUDUM event, an exciting rumor about seasons four and five, new cast members and confirmation of their roles, behind-the-scenes pictures of a Nilfgaardian set, and more.
Here are the headlines we will cover in this article:
- The Witcher Season 3 wraps filming, when can we expect it to release?
- Henry Cavill to Present The Witcher at Netflix’s TUDUM Event
- Netflix seemingly greenlights The Witcher Seasons 4 and 5
- The Witcher adds Mages and Rats and recasts one major villain in Season 3
- Behind the Scenes look at a Nilfgaardian set from The Witcher Season 3
- Season 3 will take Geralt to Brokilon Forest
- More details of Ciri’s desert storyline in The Witcher Season 3
- The Witcher: Blood Origin has been reshot, trimmed, and overhauled with additional Jaskier scenes
The Witcher Season 3 wraps filming, when can we expect it to release?
On September 9, The Witcher’s cast and crew had finally wrapped production on Season 3, passing the torch to editors, VFX artists, and Netflix’s marketing team as the season enters the post-production phase. Production on the third season lasted approximately five months, taking the cast and crew to dozens of locations in six different countries from the arid Sahara Desert in Morroco, to the frozen lakes of Northern Italy, to the green hillsides of Wales.
“What a season this has been,” star Henry Cavill writes in a message to the cast and crew. “I just wanted to thank you all for your determination and dedication through a tough shoot. Hopefully, you can get some well-deserved rest. Sincerely and with respect, Henry Cavill.”
With filming completed and post-production on its way, fans are eager to know when we can finally watch the third season. Though Netflix hasn’t yet provided a release window, let alone a date, we can make an educated guess based on the past seasons’ production cycles.
The first season required six months of post-production before its December 2019 release, and the second season required seven months of post-production. With that in mind, we would assume that Season 3 will require a similar amount of time for post-production, six to eight months. That would mean the show will be ready for release between March and May of 2023, but that does not necessarily mean the show will be released immediately after.
For the first and second seasons of The Witcher, Netflix waited a considerable time after post-production was completed before releasing the episodes on Netflix. Season one was released a month after the post-production wrap, and in the case of season two, Netflix held on to the episodes for two full months.
In both cases, Netflix held on to the show to release the episodes in December, just in time for Christmas when people will be at home with their families and eager to binge a new show. If Netflix continues this tradition and releases season three in December 2023, that would require them to hold on to the new episodes for much longer than they did in the first two seasons, at least seven months. For this reason, we doubt that Netflix will stick to the December slot for the third season. A release in Summer 2023 is far more likely, and that’s where we place our bets.
Henry Cavill to Present The Witcher at Netflix’s TUDUM Event
Now that the season has wrapped filming, the lion’s share of the remaining work is left to the editors and VFX artists who will be stitching together the show’s various shots, applying the necessary touch-ups, and inserting the occasional terrifying monster or magic fireball on top of a blank green-screen. But they aren’t the only ones working, as an equally important part of what comes after filming belongs to Netflix’s marketing teams.
As the gears start turning on the marketing of Season 3 and the upcoming spinoff The Witcher: Blood Origin, Netflix has already announced that the two Witcher projects will make an appearance at Netflix’s annual TUDUM event. As we reported, Geralt himself, Henry Cavill, will be there to present a behind-the-scenes look at Season 3. Besides Cavill, showrunner Lauren Hissrich will also be there to discuss the show and its spinoffs.
A cautionary warning: we don’t actually expect to see much of The Witcher Season 3. At best, we will be seeing a short teaser and a behind-the-scenes check-in with some of the show’s cast members, we would absolutely not expect a full trailer at this early stage of production. That being said, the spinoff Blood Origin is a completely different matter.
Blood Origin is rumored to be released on December 25, 2022. This means we are only three months away from the release of the prequel show, with very little information shared by Netflix since the show debuted its teaser trailer after the credits of The Witcher’s Season 2 finale last December. It’s about time we see more of Blood Origin, so we are expecting another, meatier teaser or trailer to release during TUDUM.
Netflix eyes early greenlight for The Witcher seasons 4 and 5
Though Season 3 is still far off, Netflix may already be starting to prepare for what comes next. One Redanian Intelligence source close to the production has informed us that they’ve heard Netflix is hoping to produce the fourth and fifth seasons of the series back-to-back.
The plan is to do this for writing and filming, with the Season 4 writers’ room assembling in the coming months and continuing to write Season 5 immediately after. Then, Netflix would film the two seasons in succession, significantly shortening the wait between seasons.
It’s important to note that this plan is not yet set in stone. From what we heard, our sources believe this is what the team wants to do, but that may not necessarily be possible. Actors, such as lead star Henry Cavill, have other commitments which may not allow a back-to-back filming period.
Aside from that, filming two seasons back-to-back would require the cast and crew to endure challenging shoots on location, in the middle of the night, with non-stop pressure and tight scheduling for an entire year.
That would be a difficult task, so it may not be possible without a lengthy break between the filming of the two seasons.
The Witcher adds Mages and Rats and recasts one major villain in Season 3
Speaking of Season 4, The Witcher will already be laying the groundwork for upcoming storylines before the end of the season finale. Season 4 is expected to be focused on three different team-ups: the Hansa, who will be part of Geralt’s story; the Lodge, who will be part of Yennefer’s story; and the Rats, who will be part of Ciri’s story. Though the only new hansa member cast for Season 3 was Milva, who will be portrayed by Shang Chi’s Meng’er Zhang, we have uncovered quite a few new additions belonging to the other two teams.
Besides Christelle Elwin (The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself, Bloods), who was previously announced to portray the character Mistle, we have now uncovered another confirmed Rat and several more who are suspected. Juliette Alexandra (EastEnders) was cast in the role of Reef, one of the Rats featured in the novels.
From what we gather, it’s very likely that Aggy K. Adams (World War Z) was cast as Iskra, and two male actors Ash Rizi and Ben Radcliffe are likely to be the show’s Giselher, Asse, or Kayleigh. Besides the Rats, the show has also cast some characters who will interact with them and with Ciri, specifically a group called “the Trappers”. Nickolas Karimi (You Don’t Know Me) has been cast as Skomlik, one of the Trappers in the books. Another actor who will likely be the lead Trapper Sweers is Andrew Lee Pots (By Any Means, The Crown), who was on set during filming.
The Lodge of Sorceresses will be inviting stage actress Rochelle Rose (Death in Paradise, Boxing Day) who we have now confirmed to portray the fan-favorite sorceress Margarita Laux-Antille, better known as Rita. In the books, Rita is Tissaia’s replacement as the Rectoress of Aretuza, who is always cheerful and kind, especially to her young students. Joining her will be Safiyya Ingar (Doctors, Summer of Rockets) who is now confirmed for the iconic role of Keira Metz, who took readers and fans of the games should remember. They will be joined by cast members from the first two seasons, with characters including Yennefer, Philippa, Triss, Francesca, Fringilla, and Sabrina. One of the last items of news from the filming of Season 3 involved these very actresses, who all filmed together on one of the last days of production. It’s safe to say that the Lodge of Sorceresses will indeed be founded in Season 3, rather than early in Season 4.
The sorceresses of the Lodge aren’t the only new cast members who will portray mages in season three. Besides them, there is quite a long list of new cast mages and sorceresses who will be part of Season 3’s major action sequence at Thanedd Island. These will include Philip Philmar (Sweeney Todd, Game of Thrones) as the nefarious mage Gerhart of Aelle, also known as Hen Gedymdeith; Ryan Hayes (Carnival Row) will portray Artaud Terranova, another sleazy mage; Michalina Olszanska (1984) will portray Marti Sodergren, a memorable sorceress with a minor role in the novels; Eric Nolan (Krypton) will be the mage Dorregaray, a monster-loving mage who skipped his appearance in season one but will appear in the Thanedd sequence anyway; Poppy Almond (Blurred Lines) will portray Bianca, a sorceress who remains neutral in the coming conflict; Harvey Quinn (Drifters) will portray Radcliffe of Oxenfurt, a mage who follows Philippa Eilhart. Additional mages will be portrayed by stunt performers, such as Detmold, Drithelm, Fercart, Rejean, Carduin, and Marquard.
In short, it seems that Netflix was eager to cast every mage noted in the Thanedd chapters of the novels for the major Season 3 sequence.
But this isn’t all of our casting news for today. We have also discovered that a cast member in a major role has been recast for Season 3. This will be the fiery, villainous mage Rience, who was portrayed by Chris Fulton in Season 2 and is now leaving the show. The Bridgerton and Witcher Season 2 star will be moving to Outlander instead. In his place, Netflix has cast the strikingly similar Sam Woolf, who will also portray young Prince Edward of Wessex in the upcoming fifth and sixth seasons of Netflix’s The Crown.
Behind-the-Scenes look at a Nilfgaardian set from The Witcher Season 3
The cliffhanger surprise of The Witcher’s second season revealed that the Nilfgaardian Emperor Emhyr var Emreis was, in fact, Ciri’s father Duny (Bart Edwards). As such, we expect to see much more of him in the third season, and it seems that by the end of the season we will see him return to his throne room in Loc Grim at the heart of Nilfgaardian territory. The set which was transformed into Loc Grim was recently seen in another Netflix show, Sandman, where Guildford Cathedral stood for the Lord of Dream’s palace.
In the books, one notable scene occurred at Loc Grim’s palace. This scene introduces a character known as Fake Ciri, a political pawn of Emhyr’s who the Emperor pretends to be his daughter and heir to Cintra as part of his strategy to conquer the Northern Realms. In the show, the actress Frances Pooley has been cast as Teryn, who we believe will turn out to be Fake Ciri with an expanded backstory. It’s quite likely that the scene filmed at Guildford Cathedral was the very same scene from the end of the novel Time of Contempt.
Season 3 will take Geralt to Brokilon Forest.
In season one, Ciri’s adventures led her into the Forest of Brokilon, where she met the dryads and their queen Eithne.
Though fans of the books had mixed feelings about how Brokilon was handled in season one, many still hoped the show would return to this location later on as it happened in the novels, this time taking the time to explore the lore of Brokilon and the dryads.
While we don’t know how Brokilon and the dryads will be portrayed in season three and how large their role will be in the story, we know that Henry Cavill’s Geralt will be taking a trip to Brokilon towards the end of the season.
This news will not surprise fans of the books, as the exact same thing happened at the end of Time of Contempt.
There, Geralt of Rivia spends some time healing in Brokilon before setting of on a journey that will lead him to the Hansa and some of the novels’ most memorable adventures.
From what we learned, we will see Cavill joined by costars Joey Batey (Jaskier) and Meng’er Zhang (Milva) as well as the dryads. But that is not all, Eamon Farren (Cahir) has also been on set for this particular part of filming. With the Nilfgaardian knight in Brokilon, it would not be a stretch to assume that the dryads’ forest will be under attack at the end of the season. This lines up perfectly with detail our sources told us about the end of the season, that a Milva will help an injured Geralt escape while Cahir watches from afar.
With the Thanedd Coup in episodes five and six of the eight-episode season, it seems the show will still have a significant fight sequence in the finale and will be set in Brokilon.
More details of Ciri’s desert storyline in The Witcher Season 3
The news about Brokilon isn’t the only thing we’ve heard about Season 3’s final two episodes.
The other news focuses on Freya Allan’s Ciri, who will find herself lost in the desert with the unlikely companionship of a unicorn. Filming of this sequence began in the outskirts of the Sahara Desert in Erfoud, Morocco. Filming in Morocco took place over two weeks, with Ciri actress Freya Allan present on set for the duration alongside a very white horse. Though no horns were spotted on this horse, we can imagine that the unicorn horn will be added with visual effects in post-production.
Besides Allan and a few stunt performers, one surprising actress returned to the set to film more scenes: Gaia Mondadori, who portrays Ciri’s mother Pavetta. Fans will remember that Ciri’s mother died years beforehand in a stormy journey at sea, so her reappearance in Ciri’s trip to the Korath Desert is probably going to be some sort of hallucination or mirage.
Once the production left Morocco, filming of the desert sequence continued in the Moorhouse Sandpits near London. Additionally, some scenes from this sequence were filmed in the studio with blue and green screens.
The Witcher: Blood Origin has been reshot, trimmed, and overhauled with additional Jaskier scenes
Now that we’ve covered all the news pertaining to The Witcher’s third season, we can proceed to an update on the upcoming live action limited series spinoff The Witcher: Blood Origin. This prequel series is set hundreds of years before the main show, even before the Conjunction of the Spheres, the event which collided the worlds of elves, men, and monsters into one Continent.
Originally, Blood Origin was set to have six episodes focused on the elven warriors who lived on the Continent before humanity’s arrival, with a quick intro from The Witcher’s Jaskier.
From what we understand, Netflix wasn’t happy with the result, so they decided to give the show an overhaul.
Firstly, the number of episodes was trimmed down from six to four. We’re not certain if this means we’re getting longer episodes or that one-third of the original product is being scrapped entirely, but of the two options, it seems the latter is more likely. To reweave these four episodes into a cohesive story, Netflix has also held significant reshoots for the show involving most of the main cast members.
Before confirming it with other sources, we heard the same information from one of our readers at Redanian Intelligence, who preferred to stay anonymous. According to them, Netflix also took the opportunity provided by these reshoots to increase Jaskier’s role, with more Jaskier scenes being filmed. At first, we took this as a rumor, but with the rest of the information confirmed, it seems likely that Jaskier’s increased role is also true.
That will be all for this month’s roundup of Witcher news. Make sure to tune in to Netflix’s TUDUM event on September 24, 10 am PT, as “the Continent has a lot to unveil” during the show.
The Continent has a LOT to unveil at Tudum… 👀 https://t.co/7Rpa4yeUZh
— The Witcher (@witchernetflix) September 14, 2022