Netflix’s highly anticipated television adaptation of Andrzej Sapkowski’s The Witcher series of novels has now found its Ciri and Yennefer.
Last month, Netflix confirmed that Superman star Henry Cavill would be donning beard and greying locks as series protagonist Geralt of Rivia; it’s now been revealed that Freya Allan and Anya Chalotra will be starring alongside Cavill as Ciri and Yennefer respectively. Allan’s most recent work includes TV shows The War of the Worlds and Into the Badlands, while Chalotra can be seen in The ABC Murders and Wanderlust.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, which broke the news, over 50 roles have now been cast for Netflix’s series. These include Jodhi May as Queen Calanthe, Bjorn Hlynur Haraldsson as her husband Eist, Adam Levy as the druid Mousesack, and MyAnna Buring as Tissaia, head of the Aretuza magical academy. Additionally, Mimi Ndiweni and Therica Wilson-Read will star as novice sorcerers, and Millie Brady takes on the role of Princess Renfri.
Speaking to the website, showrunner and writer Lauren Schmidt Hissrich addressed the strong fan sentiment around the Witcher TV series, as well as the creative choices the production team is making. “I think coming in as a writer and saying my vision might look different than yours is scary for fans,” Hissrich explained, “but truthfully I don’t think it has to be.”
“One of the things I feel most strongly about is people being afraid that we’re going to strip out the cultural context of The Witcher, to remove its Slavic roots, the very thing people in Poland are proud of. That couldn’t be further from the truth. What I’ve always wanted to do is take these Slavic stories and give them a global audience.”
Hissrich – a self-confessed “huge fan” of CD Projekt’s massively popular adaptation of The Witcher – also reveals that she’s “tried to steer away from” the fact that the games are currently the “sole visual representation” of Sapkowski’s stories. “As I’ve been developing the series I’ve actually pulled back from playing the video games,” she says, “because I wanted to make sure the show we were creating was its own unique thing.”
At present, Netflix’s The Witcher adaptation is in the preparation stages, with production scheduled to start soon. The show is expected to air in 2020.