Netflix's The Witcher Prequel Just Lost Its Main Star Before Filming Even Started

Following The Witcher's widely popular and much-watched first season's debut on Netflix, the creative powers behind the scenes started building up the universe by developing multiple spinoffs. Fans have been fairly patient ever since, waiting for anything to come out in the gap between Season 1 and Season 2 of Henry Cavill's dark fantasy drama. Unfortunately, though, the live-action prequel series The Witcher: Blood Origin just lost its main star ahead of the show going into production.

Back in January, Netflix announced that The Witcher: Blood Origin's cast would be headed up by Queen & Slim and The Last Ship star Jodie Turner-Smith, who was tapped to take on the role of Éile in the first season. Those plans came to a sudden halt this week, with the actress needing to drop out of the project due to a timing change having thrown a wrench into the works. Here's now a Netflix representative explained the situation to Deadline:

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.

The Witcher: Blood Origin reportedly faced a slight production delay that pushed filming back a bit, which is where that problem came in. Jodie Turner-Smith is an increasingly busy actress after breaking out in a big way in recent years, and it appears another one of her upcoming projects created a conflict when it came to filming things simultaneously. It's not exactly clear which project is getting in the way, but it appears as if it might be Borderland, the action-thriller co-starring Star Wars vets John Boyega and Felicity Jones.

jodie turner-smith on the graham norton show

Jodie Turner-Smith has another couple of highly visible gigs coming to fans in the near future. For one, she'll take a starring turn as the famed royal wife Anne Boleyn in the UK miniseries of the same name. Second, she's co-starring opposite Michael B. Jordan for his upcoming Amazon action drama Without Remorse, and then will also star in the sci-fi drama After Yang with Colin Ferrell and Umbrella Academy's Justin H. Lin.

Considering how much Jodie Turner-Smith has wowed audiences in recent years with bigger and bolder roles, it's a damned shame that she won't be able to play the lead in The Witcher: Blood Origin. Éile is a golden-throated warrior who becomes the Queen's guard after vacating her clan to become a traveling musician. Against her best wishes, dangerous troubles cause her to return to her warrior ways, and her blade is sharp enough to take just about anyone down.

The Witcher: Blood Origins is set in an elven world around 1,200 years before the events centering on Henry Cavill's Geralt, and will impart its story about the very first monster-hunting Witcher. The TV prequel will show audiences the world-changing "conjunction of the spheres," which brought together men, monsters and elves.

Here's hoping The Witcher: Blood Origin's producers are able to find a replacement for Jodie Turner-Smith with the quickness so that it doesn't end up causing even more delays behind the scenes. (And if they wanted to confirm that Jason Momoa casting rumor as being real, that would rock, too.) Until then, you can stream the entirely of Season 1 on Netflix now.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.