Netflix’s The Witcher Season 3 Recasts a Major Character

Photos from the set of Netflix’s The Witcher show one of the major antagonists for Season 3 of the hit-fantasy show has been recast.

Redanian Intelligence reported the fiery sorcerer, Rience, played by actor Chris Fulton in Season 2, will now be played by Sam Woolf. The reason for the switch is currently unknown but it is speculated the recast was necessary due to a scheduling conflict.

Rience made his live-action debut in the fifth episode of Season 2, “Turn Your Back.” He is freed from prison and sent to hunt Ciri for a mysterious figure. Much like his novel counterpart in Andrzej Sapkowski’s Witcher saga, the fire mage’s face was horrifically scarred during his encounter with the sorceress Yennefer of Vengerberg, who battled Rience to save the bard Jaskier.

Recasting is not new for The Witcher. Season 2 saw one of the monster slayers of Kaer Morhen recast, requiring a significant reshoot. Eskel was originally played by actor Thue Ersted Rasmussen. However, due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the subsequent industry shut down, he was forced to step away from the project. Eskel was replaced by Basil Eidenbenz.

The Witcher in 2022

Filming for The Witcher Season 3 is currently back in full swing after a brief delay brought on by COVID-19 and star Henry Cavill’s temporary departure. The star returned to set and it is unknown how the delay will impact the show’s release date, if at all. Reports suggest the Netflix series is scheduled to complete production in September, in time for release sometime in 2023.

Before that, it is believed Netflix intends to release the live-action prequel series, The Witcher: Blood Origin, which is currently in post-production after several weeks of reshoots. While it was originally announced as a six-part limited series, the episode count has been cut down to four following the reshoots. It’s uncertain why this change was made.

The Witcher: Blood Origin is set 1,200 years before the events of the main series, in the ancient days of the Continent, when the land was ruled predominately by elves and magic was still a new force, introduced to the land by the cataclysmic events known as the Conjunction of the Spheres. The series introduces a number of elven figures unique to the show, including √Čile, played by Sophia Brown; Fjall, played by Laurence O’Fuarain, and Scian played by Michelle Yeoh.

The Witcher Season 3 does not yet have a release date. No official release date has yet been announced for The Witcher: Blood Origin.

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