It’s been a week since we reported that The Witcher‘s crew has traveled to the town of Erfoud, Morocco to continue filming the third season. Since then, they’ve been working tirelessly to film one of the most iconic Ciri storylines in Andrzej Sapkowski’s novels on the dunes of the Sahara Desert.
Filming is set to wrap in Morocco in the coming days, and a new rumor by KFTV suggests the crew will travel to Costa Rica and the Maldives next for establishing shots without the cast.
The Sahara Desert will be Netflix’s take on Korath
The immediate speculation regarding the scenes filmed in Morocco was that this will be Netflix’s take on an iconic chapter from Time of Contempt where Ciri finds herself lost in the Korath Desert.
This speculation was supported by Freya Allan’s presence on set as Ciri, and from what we have seen and heard in the past week of filming, it’s safe to say that the Sahara Desert will indeed be Korath.
Freya Allan has been the only leading cast member on location. Filming has taken place in the extreme temperatures of the desert, facing the occasional sandstorm, throughout the past week. Much of the filming took place on the dunes, but it seems the crew also filmed in an arid plain similar to the one in the picture below.
Besides Freya Allan, stunt performers were also on location. Additional cast members may also have been present.
What stunts could be performed in the Korath Desert? It’s possible they filmed Ciri’s confrontation with the Trappers, a group who wished to capture her and take her to the Emperor of Nilfgaard to claim her bounty.
Unicorns are coming to The Witcher!
Aside from Freya and stunt performers, the most interesting is the presence of two white horses, which means only one thing: unicorns are coming!
We know of two white horses involved pictured below. The one on the right is likely the unicorn Ihuarraquax. It’s also possible both of them played one unicorn. Perhaps because of the extremely hot weather, one horse would rest while the other would film. Then again, the manes are braided differently.
The horses were involved in most of the filming in the past week, and it’s a safe bet that the horn will be added in post-production CGI as horses are generally not great contenders for prosthetics.
Filming had begun in Morocco shortly after the cast and crew shot on location in Wales, where another iconic sequence from the books was filmed (if you haven’t seen the leaked pictures, make sure to check them out).
In Wales, the production reached a significant milestone when director Gandja Monteiro celebrated her wrap party. The wrap party suggests that the majority of the filming of Monteiro’s episodes, the third and fourth episodes of the upcoming season, was completed, leaving only four episodes left to be filmed out of the season’s total of eight episodes.
Filming continues in Longcross Studios
In the past few days, Henry Cavill (Geralt), Anya Chalotra (Yennefer), Royce Pierreson (Istredd), Aisha Fabienne Ross (Lydia) and other actors involved with the mage storyline have been gathering in Longcross Studios.
With filming continuing in Longcross Studios in tandem with the location shooting in Morocco, it’s safe to assume the desert scenes will be part of the season’s last two episodes directed by Bola Ogun (Shadow and Bone).
It’s possible Peristere and Ogun may share the Thanedd coup storyline between their episodes as there’s quite a bit for one episode to tackle. From the preparations, to the ball to the massacre and the final showdown between Geralt, Vilgefortz and other characters as well.
Costa Rica and Maldives next?
If KFTV’s sources are correct, production will relocate to Costa Rica in August. Though they have not specified what will be filmed there, it’s likely going to be establishing shots filmed without the cast. KFTV also mentions that the Maldives are being considered for establishing shots to be filmed in September.
If that will indeed come to pass, Costa Rica and the Maldives will become the seventh and eighth countries visited by the production in Season 3 following Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, England, Wales, and now Morocco.
This would also be similar to Scotland’s role in the production of Season 2. It was featured in the season through establishing shots, but no cast ever filmed there so it didn’t count as a filming locations. Season 2 also featured locations from Poland and Georgia in establishing shots.
Season 3 of The Witcher is in production until September 2022 for a 2023 release. The live-action prequel The Witcher: Blood Origin is in post-production after two weeks of reshoots and is currently eyed for a Christmas 2022 release. Stay tuned to Redanian Intelligence and do pop into our Discord server to join in on The Witcher conversation.