'The Witcher' Prequel Loses Jodie Turner-Smith as Its Lead

Bad news for fans of The Witcher: Queen & Slim actress Jodie Turner-Smith has unfortunately dropped out of the prequel series, The Witcher: Blood Origin. News of Turner-Smith taking the lead role broke back in January, but Deadline reports that the British actress will no longer be taking part in Netflix's spinoff series. "Due to a change in the production schedule for The Witcher: Blood Origin limited series, unfortunately, Jodie Turner-Smith will no longer be able to continue on in the role of Éile," a Netflix spokesperson said in a statement.

"Set in an elven world 1,200 years before the world of The Witcher, Blood Origin will tell a story lost to time – the creation of the first prototype Witcher, and the events that lead to the pivotal 'conjunction of the spheres,' when the worlds of monsters, men, and elves merged to become one," reads the official synopsis for Blood Origin. Fans of the series are sure to be excited about this critical deepening of the lore. Éile is described as "an elite warrior blessed with the voice of a goddess" who leaves behind her position as a guardian for the Queen to follow her dream as a traveling musician. However, she is soon brought back to the blade from her musical travels when vengeance is required. The role will be recast and production for the animated series will begin later in the year.

Declan de Barra, who was a writer in the first season of The Witcher, will be handling Blood Origin as showrunner, and he has dropped a few hints about what to expect from the animated series." As a lifelong fan of fantasy, I am beyond excited to tell the story The Witcher: Blood Origin," de Barra said when the series was announced. "A question has been burning in my mind ever since I first read The Witcher books - What was the Elven world really like before the cataclysmic arrival of the humans? "I've always been fascinated by the rise and fall of civilizations, how science, discovery, and culture flourish right before that fall. How vast swathes of knowledge are lost forever in such a short time, often compounded by colonization and a rewriting of history. Leaving only fragments of a civilization’s true story behind."

"The Witcher: Blood Origin will tell the tale of the Elven civilization before its fall, and most importantly reveal the forgotten history of the very first Witcher," he concluded. The animated series is expected in 2022, and Season 2 of The Witcher, which just wrapped production, will hit Netflix in late 2021.