Sounds like The Witcher Season 2 was not messing around when it came to getting back off the ground. The upcoming series had been one of the few shows that got back to work early in August. Unfortunately, that timing wasn't great for everyone involved. Previously, the Netflix series had hired Thue Ersted Rasmussen for a role playing another Witcher in Season 2. He had to drop out and now The Witcher has already landed its new Witcher, which was pretty fast. Basil Eidenbenz has nabbed the role.
Basil Eidenbenz is probably best known for a role in Victoria playing Lohlein during that show’s first season. He also appears in Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Favourite as a footman. The Witcher Season 2 is obviously going to be a meatier role for the actor. Eidenbenz is also a little younger than Thue Ersted Rasmussen, but they do sort of have a similar look, likely due to hair color.
Why The Witcher Had To Recast Eskel
Earlier this weekend, Thue Ersted Rasmussen was the person who actually broke the news about The Witcher Season 2 recast. He took to Instagram to explain that The Witcher was supposed to go back into production earlier in 2020. However, the pandemic has changed or shifted plans for a lot of people and Rasmussen is an in-demand actor. He noted:
Sadly, due to the rescheduling because of COVID-19, I will not be portraying Eskel in The Witcher. It’s heartbreaking, of course, but I am mostly happy and grateful for the days I got to spend on set earlier this year. Everyone was extremely engaged and passionate about the project and it was a truly inspiring experience.
He doesn’t seem too bent out of shape in regards to having to miss out on The Witcher gig and at least seems to have gotten some time on the set briefly before the Netflix series was one of many to shut down production in 2020.
What’s Going On With The Witcher Season 2 Production?
Netflix’s Season 2 production has been back up and running since August, but it was supposed to originally be in production earlier in 2020 and on the way to a premiere at this point. Instead, a shutdown happened during the spring, changing the trajectory of Season 2 somewhat. When the show got back to work, the streaming series also detailed a bunch of its Covid precautions on set, which include PPE masks and separate areas for members of the creative team.
The Witcher had initially shut down its Season 2 production early on in March. Shortly after, actor Kristofer Hivju announced he had tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Production was initially only suspended for two weeks, but as history has shown, pretty much every movie and TV show that was suspended around that time was suspended for longer than that.
Netflix’s The Witcher casting director Sophie Holland has already called the break a good thing, noting the show has been able to see a much wider variety of actors for roles thanks to things like Zoom calls taking the focus for auditions. However, this obviously has meant at least one change for the casting on Season 2 and while it’s sad one person who was super excited about joining the series (and Thue Ersted Rasmussen was super excited), I’m also interested to see what Basil Edienbenz does with the role.