Though our recent reports have largely been focused on the opening mage sequence of The Witcher’s season finale, this latest news is about the show’s first episode. Following a major recast, the show will likely now need to hold reshoots for some of the pilot episode’s most crucial scenes. Redanian Intelligence has reason to believe that these scenes are being shot now, during the production’s final weeks of filming.
As was first rumored by Recapped.com, and later confirmed by Netflix themselves, actress Millie Brady has been recast. Millie was set to play the role of Princess Renfri, a pivotal and important character in the short story The Lesser Evil, which will be featured in the season premiere. We do not know the reason for this recasting, but it has been speculated that Netflix wasn’t satisfied with certain scenes of the Pilot and ordered reshoots, but Millie wasn’t available anymore due to her role in The Last Kingdom’s fourth season which started production in April. When questioned about this by thewitcher.tv, Netflix had an ambiguous answer: “An evolving vision for the show meant we have made some amends to the series.”
It is also speculated that Marilka, the daughter of Caldemeyn, the alderman of Blaviken, will not be played by the previously announced Rebecca Benson as her name was removed from the IMDB cast list during the same week when rumours about Millie emerged. Since removing names from IMDB is not nearly as easy as adding them and considering that both actresses would only appear in the Pilot, this does not look like a mere coincidence. A relevant question would be: who else could have been recast due to scheduling conflicts regarding the rehsoots? Lars Mikkelsen and Inge Beckmann, who play the mage Stregobor and Renfri’s evil stepmother Aridea respectively, both seem to be safe for now.
As we know, significant recasts lead to significant reshoots – which brings us to this report. Redanian Intelligence operatives have reason to believe that The Witcher crew has been filming reshoots for the show’s season premiere. On Friday, May 3, we were able to place assistant director Marcell Belso on location at a forest near Pilisszentivan, Hungary. Marcell is credited on IMDb for only the first two episodes of the show, and last took part in the show’s filming way back in December of 2018. Could his recent work for The Witcher be a sign that the show is now reshooting scenes for the season premiere?
On May 6, showrunner Lauren S. Hissrich posted an image on her Instagram showcasing Geralt’s boots (yes, she really did), but what’s more interesting than this Geralt tease is the location in which it is set. Redanian Intelligence was able to track down this location as the show’s set in Mafilm studios, Budapest. This set features a bustling, medieval town which has likely been used for multiple locations in the show: the towns of Blaviken, Rinde and Wyzim all come to mind. We believe the filming on this set may also be for the premiere’s reshoots.
With director Charlotte Brandstrom wrapped, and by means of deduction, the likeliest in-canon location for today’s set will be Blaviken and Wyzim, with Blaviken being the primary location of the show’s premiere. Another interesting clue comes courtesy of a crew member’s Instagram, where she takes a picture similar to Lauren’s (featuring a lot of mud) and adds the caption “deja vu”. Also, actress Alexandra Szucs, who is listed on the show’s IMDb page as “Isadora“, presumably an original character, appears to have been at Mafilm as well. Alexandra was last on set in 2018, and is perhaps reshooting her scene (which IMDb suggests is in the pilot episode as well). One final, telling detail comes from Lauren’s recent tweet.
In this tweet, titled “Geralt of Rain”, Lauren reposts the (very important) picture of Geralt’s boots, and adds another one: a picture of a donkey. Book readers who pay close attention to details may remember that the opening scene of The Lesser Evil contains a similar donkey, upon which Geralt carries the corpse of what may be the show’s first monster – the kikimora, a giant arachnid similar to a spider. This wouldn’t be the first time a giant spider is teased for the show, as professional stuntman and Night King actor on Game of Thrones Vladimir Furdik, who is working as a stunt co-ordinator on the show, may have teased the appearance of such a monster before.
And so, with reshoots likely taking place, one question remains: who has the show cast in place of Millie Brady for the role of Princess Renfri? Stay tuned with Redanian Intelligence as the story develops.