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.
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