Though rumors and leaks about season two of Netflix’s The Witcher were abundant throughout January, the past week has been rather quiet with regards to Henry Cavill’s fantasy drama. Fortunately, The Witcher showrunner Lauren S. Hissrich shared some interesting details in a new podcast with Writer Experience. Notably, Hissrich confirms that the much discussed Nilfgaardian armor will be changed. Additionally, we have an update regarding the season two director lineup.
If you have the time, make sure to listen to the full podcast (attached below). Hissrich discusses her role as a showrunner, the inspirations of The Witcher‘s writers room, the creative vision of season one and her love of cookie dough. We’ve gathered her notes regarding season two in the text below, as well as our other investigations.
The Nilfgaard armor will be totally different
“I am in London right now,” Hissrich said when asked where she was recording from. “[This] is where we’re shooting season two of The Witcher. So I’ve been here for about two and a half weeks on the ground. We’re in pre-production now, so we’re crazy busy, but it’s very exciting to be kicking off again.” She later says: “We are shooting [season two] for about 125 days, however that breaks down. So we go for about five and a half months, depending, give or take. Season one was much longer. It took much longer for us to do, but we feel for season two that we’ve got things a little more under control.”
“Everything about The Witcher has been a real learning process for me,” Hissrich said, with regards to mistakes she acknowledges in retrospect. “It’s the beauty of being able to do this for the first time and then get to come back and do it again. […] Season two is exciting. It’s a chance to look at the mistakes we’ve made in season one and do it better, tell stories better, improve some things, look at what didn’t work, get rid of it and start over.” One thing Hissrich confirms will be changed in the upcoming season is the controversial Nilfgaardian armor. “The Nilfgaard armor will be totally different. You have that opportunity [with season two] to go back and course-correct if you want to.”
Hissrich also explains the differences between her role as a showrunner and the role of directors. She also confirms that season two will have four directors, each of whom will be directing two episodes which will be filmed back to back.
We do something called block shooting, which means we shoot two episodes at a time. So we have four directors
“Directors come and go in television, obviously, if we’re shooting eight episodes. We do something called block shooting, which means we shoot two episodes at a time. So we have four directors. The directors come in, they come out. They come in and we basically do Witcher boot camp, which is ‘let’s catch you up on everything you need to know about the lore and the stories we’ve been telling and what a witcher is and what these monsters are’. We pour information on them and I work very closely with them in tone meetings and in production meetings to make sure that they understand the scripts and that they understand our intents and purposes and everything we’re trying to do. And then, I’ve got to let them do their job. I’m there every day, mostly as a resource, but then I let their creative vision take over and we can just continue bouncing back and forth.”
Recently, we uncovered evidence that pointed to directors Stephen Surjik (Lost in Space, The Umbrella Academy, See), Edward Bazalgette (The Last Kingdom, Doctor Who, Poldark) Sarah O’Gorman (The Last Kingdom, Cursed, Jamestown). Following an update on O’Gorman’s CV, we have confirmation that she will be directing two episodes in season two, which lines up with Hissrich’s comments regarding “block shooting”.
As well, we have reason to believe that Surjik will be in charge of episodes one and two of the second season and that he will begin filming his episodes shortly in the London-adjacent production hub of Arborfield Studios (where Netflix is now building the town of Oxenfurt) and in Scottland’s beautiful Isle of Skye.
With the episodes distributed evenly between directors, two each, and three directors revealed so far, we’re still missing the season’s final director. It’s possible that that job will be given to one of the directors that helmed episodes in season one, particularly Alex Garcia Lopez (episodes three and four) and Charlotte Brandstrom (episodes five and six). It may also be an entirely new director, as is the case with the other three.
As you can see above, cast members are already teasing their return to the Continent on social media. In terms of new castings, the team at Redanian Intelligence is developing a list of potential new cast members, and we will share them with you if and when we’re confident that they have truly join the cast.
Season two enters production on February 17.
SEASON TWO NEWS: The Hobbit and Outlader actor auditions for Dijkstra
11 comments on “The Witcher Season 2 to have four directors and “totally different” Nilfgaard armor”
That sounds to me: let’s do something we have no idea about. And because we have no idea, we think of something. We know the names, we know the professions, we will invent the rest. Hey, Henry, tell us a little bit about the world in which the stories take place. Our basis is the books. But we didn’t read it and we didn’t understand it. But most of the viewers in the series don’t either. They no longer know how to read. So we can tell them something else. The majority of the spectators come from the Witcher game and they also notice the ignorance of the author and director. But how do you say? Hope dies last.
As much as I hated the armour, I think it was the least of the season 1 problems and flaws. Writing, story telling and dialogues, shallow interactions and unconvincing relationships between the characters and poorly build lore in general was what made that show so disappointing and painful to watch. Not mention meaningless changes and altering everything and everyone, probably trying to prove that they can come up with better story and out better Sapkowski’s himself. What makes me wonder, why would you give a show of that potential to somebody like Hissrich, who clearly doesn’t understand the lore and the characters, and being a professional show runner makes such a basic mess ups and has to learn from her own multiple mistakes, that critics and the viewers got her forced to face. Im still not holding my breath thou.
With all the goodwill these poor choices have lost them, and the number of retcons that might occur between seasons… why don’t they just reboot the whole show and start again? The internal consistency of their adaption’s universe is going to crumble even further.
The only way to make things better would be to get rid of the person responsible for the program.
What is really funny to think is that many of those who are upset about the program now will end up buying all this money ‘let’s do it better from now on’ – since there is no doubt that it will continue to feed and feed fans until next season go on air – and they’ll be jumping on board the train, shouting at everyone who has reservations with ‘We haven’t seen season two yet, we have to give them a chance!’
If the show’s writers were as good as their public relations team, we would have a really incredible adaptation.
I would prefer if they cancelled this as early as possible. This way still popular IP (due to games) might get proper adaptation faster. If this fails it might by picked up by other studio which can do it better (HBO, Amazon). The sooner, the better
Yes, do something shit, which was already good without you.
Then fix something that shouldn’t have been a problem in the first place.
So, as fans are desperate to find things to praise you, they praise you for correcting the mistake you caused.
with all the pre-production news we received, I decided not to watch the program on principle, but I want to download it because I see so many conversations here that I’m just curious to see how much a dumster is shooting.
after reading this sentence, I completely lost all curiosity to see this garbage …
I’ve never felt so betrayed by an adaptation …
So far, so bad …
Absolutely ridiculous idea – high fashion battle dress. The organic armor doesn’t look organic, but made of plastic.
Why didn’t they start with the “legacy of the elves” and use the short stories as a flashback? It would have been a straightforward development. Then all this crap shouldn’t have been invented. Now they have created a completely nonsensical starting point that they can no longer correct.
Ugh great, more Fringila and Istredd, oh come on, this will take away the precious time from developing the story from Blood of Elves, I hope their presence will be absolute minimum a scene or two. In the novel Blood of Elves which should be source for second season, even Cahir gets a single scene, getting an audience with emperor (I wonder if this will be treated with preserving mystery of who emperor is or they will make early reveal). If they really want to stick more Istredd put him in the section of story dealing with Times of Contempt, it would make sense within established narrative, with the mage convention on Thanedd etc. plus it would give finally closure to his relationship with Yennefer. As the first season DID NOT adapt the Shard of Ice story they now lost the chance for it, putting Shard of Ice in future seasons would inevitably disrupt the flow of the narrative as it was. Istredd and Fringila were pretty minor characters, but already they made changes that will affect the future events with Fringilla, the more original inventions with them they stuff in second season, the less time will remain for canon events. Blood of Elves has it’s own flow and pacing, the story is complete, too much changes will ruin the rest.
As they are adapting “Grain of truth” from the first book, I don’t see why they couldn’t include “a shard of ice there” too. Perhaps as a flashback if there’s no other option. You are right about the story flow being disturbed by it though, which would definitely happen if they’d choose to adapt both of those chapters. Honestly I would’ve liked them prioritizing “The shard of ice” instead of “Grain of Truth” as it is much more important story if you consider the dynamic between Geralt & Yennefer and Istredd to some extent. Grain of truth is somewhat outside the main plotline and they really pushed a cohesive plot in S1 instead of separate short stories.
It’ll definitely be interesting to see how they work things out. All I say is it would be reall weird if they would adapt both of those stories even if I want to see “a shard of ice” on screen.