In September, the official Twitter account of Netflix Netherlands posted and quickly deleted the release date of The Witcher (and a few other Netflix shows). Now, via an interesting new set report from the German Serien Magazine, December 17 is once again mentioned as the release date of the show – and you can also check out our translation of their interview with Henry Cavill by clicking here.
Present during January’s filming of the Cintra banquet (an adaption of the short story A Question of Price), the journalists of Serien Magazine were given a look behind the scenes, but the crew were careful not to let spoilers slip through. “What happened exactly is a secret,” says the report, in its closing words. “A wedding had been disturbed. We will get to know on December 17.“
This is not the first time December 17 has been listed as The Witcher‘s release date. The last time, it was a verified Twitter account belonging to Netflix Netherlands who posted and quickly deleted the release date. Following this leak, Netflix issued an evasive response stating that the release date “remains unconfirmed.” With their access to the production during filming, and the stills shared in their magazine (the same ones that released just yesterday), it seems likely that they heard the release date from an official source. However, we are still waiting for the official word from Netflix, which will likely be given throughout The Witcher‘s extensive Halloween festivities next week.
For now, we’ll dive into the new report, which offers interesting insight from the journalists’ set visit: “Not much is revealed about the story on this day. It’s certain that there will be battles and political machinations into which the witcher Geralt (Henry Cavill), the sorceress Yennefer (Anya Chalotra), and their foster child Ciri (Freya Allan) will be dragged into. Separated at first, the trio is travelling through a land infested with war and plague, where humans rule over non-human species [elves, dwarves, gnomes etc]. In addition to violence, the show won’t miss out on relations between people. And of course there will be sex.”
The article then addresses lead actor Henry Cavill, who was chosen from a pool of over 200 candidates. “He’s not just lending this character his looks and his acting,” said The Witcher showrunner Lauren S. Hissrich. “He’s giving the character his soul.” It’s no secret that this was a dream role for Cavill, who has long been a fan of the series’ games and novels.
“As an actor, I am lucky to have the books as well as the brilliant computer games, as a visual orientation. But nevertheless I use all the different kinds of source material that are available equally to create a unique witcher.”
On Geralt’s relationship with the two female leads, Cavill discusses Geralt’s character development: “At first, Geralt believes that he doesn’t need anyone. Throughout the course of the story, however, the women have a very profound influence on him. They become something like a guiding light to him.”
Next, the report mentions the comparisons often made between The Witcher and the recently completed HBO drama Game of Thrones. Addressing these concerns, production designer Andrew Laws is certain that the show will be unique. Laws believes that The Witcher‘s source material has a lot of wiggle room which allows creative freedom: “The descriptions of places and locations are very vague in the books. They want to evoke a particular atmosphere – in contrast to Tolkien who put his world into very distinctive words.”
This is backed up by another report released earlier this week in which Italian site Corriere questioned set decorator Naomi Moore. According to the Italian report, each of The Continent’s countries will have a unique visual style inspired by cultures around the globe. The inspiration for Cintra, for instance, comes from Art Nouveau, while the town of Blaviken is inspired by Scandinavian architecture. Interestingly, the wizarding school of Aretuza is Gothic with Indian brushstrokes, and the city of Vizima was created with an Asian style.
The German article concludes with a look behind the scenes: “The Witcher‘s Continent is dominated by medieval aesthetics. But thanks to the fantasy element, the designers can really be creative. They are inspired by architectural styles and designs, from Polish folklore to post-modern architecture.
“On the way to one of the gigantic sets, there’s initially not much to sense of that fantastic world. In labyrinthine alleys, extras and actors are standing around in costumes. Knights have exchanged their swords for coffee cups, women in ostentatious dresses are dragging themselves through the sterile gymnasium-like atmosphere. Away from camera and play, it all appears like a carnival.
“But suddenly one finds oneself inside a huge hall made of heavy stone. And it’s the perfect illusion. There’s rubble everywhere. Knocked over wooden tables and benches are the silent witnesses of a magical force. A dinner table is spread over the ostentatious scenery. What happened exactly is a secret. A wedding had been disturbed. We will get to know on December 17.”
The above-mentioned scene is the sequence set in a Cintran banquet, where Princess Pavetta‘s hand in marriage is on offer, and suitors from across the Continent have arrived. Keeping the details of his mission close to her chest, Jodhi May’s Queen Calanthe hires Cavill’s witcher to stand by her until he would be needed. That moment arrives with an unexpected suitor, a knight who calls himself the “Urcheon of Erlenwald” and hides a monstrous face beneath his helmet’s visor. The following sequence is one of the series’ most iconic moments, and we won’t spoil it for you here. For that, as the report suggests, you will have to wait for December 17.