Netflix’s very first live-action prequel for The Witcher, titled The Witcher: Blood Origin has a very interesting development history. First announced back in July 2020, it the Michelle Yeoh-starring limited series would enter production in July 2021, wrap later that yeah and undergo reshoots even later in April 2022.
Plenty of people started wondering what’s happening with this project and around the time of the reshoots, we started hearing things. We didn’t have a confirmation for them, but now we do. Let’s go over them again with new evidence.
Blood Origin to have only four episodes instead of six
UPDATE 25/09/2022: Entertainment Weekly confirms our report that Blood Origin will consist of four episodes instead of six.
ORIGINAL ARTICLE: The most significant and curious thing we heard about the reshoots and the later development was that Netflix decided to cut down the episode number from six to four.
Keep in mind that the footage was already shot as six episodes, which likely means heavier editing and potentially lots of footage on the cutting room floor.
To support that, we learned the writing credits for all of the Blood Origin episodes and they go like this:
- Episode 1: Declan de Barra
- Episode 2: Alex Meenehan/Aaron Stewart-Ahn
- Episode 3: Tania Lotia/Kiersten Van Horne
- Episode 4: Declan de Barra/Tasha Huo
To add to that, back in 2020, showrunner Declan de Barra expressed his joy and gratitude for having worked on the Blood Origin finale and the series as a whole. Naturally, back then the finale was still episode 6.
He wrote on Twitter then: “Sent off a draft of the finale for The Witcher – Blood Origin today, co written with demon writer [Tasha Huo]. That felt really great. This room has been a dream.”
We can’t claim to know all the ins and outs of how crediting works legally in these very peculiar cases, but it has been observed in the past that when things get edited and combined and passed on, the credits normally get merged as well.
What’s interesting is that with Blood Origin, the premiere and the finale are untouched. There are no additional names on either episodes than what we knew before. That may suggest that it’s mostly episodes 2, 3, 4 and 5 that are being taken apart as we speak and edited into just 2 and 3.
The first and last episodes are very likely affected as well, but judging by the credits, probably not as much as the middle ones.
But that’s not all, the source who told us about the cuts, told us more and now we’re more inclined to believe what they said.
More Jaskier and more continuity with the parent series
The next thing we heard was that the reshoots brought back Joey Batey to do even more scenes as Jaskier for The Witcher: Blood Origin.
As we revealed back in October 2021, Jaskier was going to appear in at least a present-day prologue, telling the story of Blood Origin to his crowd. He then would be interrupted by an elf who would refute Jaskier’s colorful and incorrect version of events and proceed to tell the real thing.
Apparently, Jaskier’s role in Blood Origin has been expanded from that into something more as they did bring him back for some of the reshoots. Perhaps more present-day interludes between scenes/episodes or an epilogue a la old Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit.
In any case, even despite an expanded presence, one shouldn’t expect him to be in Blood Origin a lot. After all, it isn’t his story and this is more of a cameo.
The source did also say that the reshoots and edits were being made in an attempt to bring Blood Origin closer to the main series as well as polish and cut some of the material that was deemed to be weak.
At the very least we can expect another banger tune from the bard, especially since the composer for Blood Origin is none other than the legendary Bear McCreary.
Blood Origin release date: October or December?
Lastly, the source claimed that back in April, Netflix were eyeing an October release date for The Witcher: Blood Origin. Then another source, that is pretty credible, claimed a Christmas 2022 release date.
It’s possible that at that point in time, amid all the edits and reshoots, even Netflix didn’t have a date set in stone for the limited series.
That being said, we’re now already in July and we’re honestly more leaning towards the possibility of the Christmas release. With it, Netflix also has the perfect opportunity tie their interactive Witchmas posts to the promotion of Blood Origin.
UPDATE: Some Netflix users have reported that they saw a December 25 release date on their app. Netflix is yet to comment. But this is consistent with what we’ve been hearing as well.
But as far as official dates go, we only have “later in 2022” from Netflix UK:
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.