Do you remember this month a year ago? Filming of the first season of Netflix’s The Witcher was nearing its final stages with director Marc Jobst and the crew putting the finishing touches to the revised Blaviken fight that would eventually crown the first episode. We were also getting plenty of casting news, among them some recasts and beloved characters from the books. What is more, Witcher fans got a first look at the impressive Nilfgaardian siege camp (trebuchet inclusive) courtesy of our very own GoTlikeLocations and of course there was that small armor leak.
It was clear from the start that we would have to wait a good while longer for any filming news on the second season, though no one could have predicted that it would take this long. While studios in the UK are now permitted to resume work on film and television productions abiding by social distancing guidelines, there is no news on when The Witcher will be back just yet. To ease the wait a bit we’d like to share a few interesting but minor casting additions that we’ve discovered recently, starting with the most intriguing one..
Actor and stunt performer Joel Adrian has been cast as a character named Hemrik. From what we were able to find out, Hemrik is a witcher from Kaer Morhen. This is an original character and doesn’t appear in the books, so we cannot say where or rather when will we see him. He could be part of some flashbacks that would perhaps show young Geralt’s training or he could appear in the current timeline, maybe added to the main witchers’ lineup for unknown reasons.
Next, we’ve learned that Vernon Dobtcheff will appear in The Witcher’s second season as an Older Elven Man. Dobtcheff is a true veteran of British film and television, looking back on a long and illustrious career with credits in Doctor Who, The Day of the Jackal, The Spy Who Loved Me, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade to name but a few. Younger audiences may recognize him from his many appearances in recent television series such as The Borgias or The Durrells.
Actress Alina Ilin, a native Romanian speaker will also have a small part in the second season, playing an elf. Apart from an appearance in Pennyworth, Ilin has mostly played theatre roles, fitting casting director Sophie Holland’s appreciation for young stage talents.
It is possible that Dobtcheff and Ilin were part of the elven camp scenes that were filmed in February and included series regulars Anya Chalotra (Yennefer), Mimi Ndiweni (Fringilla) and Tom Canton (Filavandrel) as well as newcomer Mecia Simson (Francesca). From the colourful mix of the actors’ costumes, we gather this might have been a meeting of several groups of elves, including commoners, warriors and nobles.
Lesley Ewen will join the cast of The Witcher as a character called Meena Coppercloth. As to who this mysterious lady really is, our guess is as good as yours. Safe to say she’s probably not an elf, judging by the name. Ewen has been active in film, television and stage since the early 60s and has taken a particular liking to sci-fi roles with appearances in Stargate, Dead Zone, Twilight Zone, Arrow and Doctor Who. She has also worked as a director, a dramaturg and a teacher of improvisation and devising at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). In season two of The Witcher, she will appear in an unknown number of episodes directed by Stephen Surjik.
UPDATE: We also found out, that actor Andrew Paul will play Colin Coppercloth, likely the husband or relative of Ewen’s Meena.
Lastly, there is young actress Scarlett Maltman in an as yet unknown role. A listing of her agency mentioned she would start filming for The Witcher “next month”, but this notice was published before the production break due to COVID-19. You can catch Scarlett as Countess Dolzhikov in Hulu’s new comedy series The Great, which satirically chronicles the rise of Russian empress Catherine the Great.
And this concludes our little casting update. Expect more news in the months to come. After all, we’re still missing some pretty substantial characters like spymaster Sigismund Dijkstra or warrior queen Meve. You’ll be the first to know when we know. In the meantime, stay tuned and stay safe!