Netflix’s Witcher prequel Blood Origin casts Jodie Turner-Smith in the lead

Anybody who has actually played The Witcher video games or understands Andrzej Sapkowski’s books understands there’s more to the folklore than the legend of Geralt of Rivia. “The Continent” was developed by fairies countless years prior to the occasions of Geralt’s stories, when the world was mainly occupied by gnomes and dwarves. Then the people ultimately appeared and everything went to hell, as you can think of. A cataclysmic event called Conjunction of the Spheres ultimately tore spacetime in two, allowing beasties to creep in and wreak havoc. That’s the world Geralt knows, but the past is rich with possibilities.

Which explains why, after the first blockbuster season of The Witcher, Netflix promptly greenlighted a six-episode limited prequel series. The Witcher: Blood Origin will take place 1,200 years before the events of The Witcher, and recount the creation of the “first prototype Witcher,” per a synopsis, and the events that led to the Combination of the Spheres.

Who can fill Henry Cavill/Geralt’s boots? On Monday, Netflix announced the first major cast member for the series: Jodie Turner-Smith, who will star Éile. Described as an “elite warrior blessed with the voice of a goddess,” Éile has left her clan and position as Queen’s guardian at the beginning of the series “to follow her heart as a nomadic musician. A grand reckoning on the continent forces her to return to the way of the blade in her quest for vengeance and redemption.”

American audiences know Turner-Smith best from Queen & Slim and her recurring role on SyFy’s George R.R. Martin adaptation Nightflyers. But she’s a huge up-and-comer, appearing soon in A24’s After Yang with Colin Farrell and Amazon’s recent acquisition Without Remorse, a Tom Clancy adaptation opposite Michael B. Jordan.

Blood Origins was written by Witcher staff writer Declan de Barra. The Witcher creator Lauren Schmidt Hissrich will serve as executive producer, while Sapkowski will consult on the creative direction of the series. There’s no release date set for the series, however The Witcher season 2 is currently wrapping up production after COVID-19 delays, with an eye toward a 2021 release. A Witcher anime film is also in the works at Netflix. Amazingly, the very first season premiered all the way back in December 2019 — however this franchise isn’t decreasing.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.