Even Witchers are not immune to the chaos brought about by this year’s COVID-19 pandemic.
Netflix this week announced a casting change for The Witcher series as it continues production on the hit show’s second season, as reported by Deadline. The role of Eskel–a Witcher of the School of the Wolf with strong magic powers–will now be portrayed by Basil Eidenbenz, who replaces Thue Ersted Rasmussen in the part.
Rasmussen explained his departure–due to a conflict in his schedule because of the show’s production delays caused by the virus crisis–in an Instagram post. “Sadly, due to the rescheduling because of COVID-19,” the actor posted, “I will not be portraying Eskel in The Witcher.”
Rasmussen expressed mixed emotions in the balance of his post. “It’s heartbreaking, of course, but I mostly feel happy and grateful for the days I got to spend on set earlier this year,” he wrote. “Everyone was extremely engaged and passionate about the project, and it was a truly inspiring experience.”
Eidenbenz–whose resume includes roles in Victoria and The Athena–reportedly has already started filming his new role for The Witcher’s second season episodes.
The rest of the cast includes Henry Cavill (Geralt), Anya Chalotra (Yennefer), Freya Allan (Ciri), Jodhi May (Calanthe), Bjorn Hynur Haraldsson (Eist), Adam Levy (Mousesack), MyAnna Buring (Tissala), Mimi Ndiweni (Fringilla), Therica Wilson-Read (Sabrina), Emma Appleton (Renfri), Eamon Farren (Cahir), Joey Batey (Jaskier), Lars Mikkelsen (Stregobor), Royce Pierreson (Istredd), Maciej Musial (Sir Lazlo), Wilson Radjou-Pajalte (Dara) and Anna Shaffer (Triss).
The Witcher–led by showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich–is based on the fantasy book series of the same name that follows Geralt of Rivia, “a solitary monster hunter (who) struggles to find his place in a world where people often prove more wicked than beasts,” according to the official synopsis. When Geralt joins forces with “a powerful sorceress and a young princess with a dangerous secret, the three must learn to navigate the volatile Continent together.”
Keep reading Horror News Network for more updates on Season 2 of The Witcher–slated to debut on Netflix next year–as well as on the upcoming prequel spinoff, The Witcher: Blood Origin.