The Witcher has added some fairly sizable star power to its season 3 ranks, with actors from Marvel's Shang-Chi and Prime Video's Upload among four new cast members.
Revealed via the official Witcher Twitter account (opens in new tab), the hit Netflix show's casting ranks have grown with the additions of Shang-Chi breakout star Meng’er Zhang and Upload's lead male actor in Robbie Amell.
The duo are also joined by Hugh Skinner (Fleabag) and Christelle Elwin (Bloods) as part of The Witcher season 3, which recently began filming in Croatia and the UK.
Check out the casting confirmation in the tweet below:
THE WITCHER Season 3 cast is getting even bigger:welcome ROBBIE AMELL (Upload), MENG’ER ZHANG (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings), HUGH SKINNER (Fleabag) and CHRISTELLE ELWIN (Bloods) to the Continent! pic.twitter.com/VOIAtnivljApril 14, 2022
Zhang, who starred as Shang-Chi's estranged sister Xu Xialing in the 2021 Marvel movie, is in line to portray Milva, a fierce and talented human huntress and archer who is sure to dole out plenty of punishment when the show's third season arrives. A Netflix Tudum article (opens in new tab) mentions that Milva was "adopted by the dryads of Brokilon Forest", who viewers may remember from The Witcher season 1. Will we see the dryads again in season 3? Time will tell.
Amell, who recently appeared in Upload season 2 and Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City, is set to take on the role of Gallatin. Described in the Netflix Tudum article as a "born fighter", Gallatin will lead a gang of guerrilla warriors called the Scoia'tael, who fight on behalf of the villainous Nilfgaardian empire. Expect him to cross paths with Geralt, Ciri, and Yennefer in season 3.
Skinner will play Radovid, the younger brother of King Vizimir of Redania who stumbles his way into the Redanian Intelligence inner circle. He's described as a charming but aloof (and sometimes drunk) individual who has a steady politicking hand.
Finally, Elwin will portray a character called Mistle, a streetwise member of a gang of teenage misfits called the Rats. Like Robin Hood, Mistle and her crew members steal from the rich and give to the poor (and themselves). According to Netflix Tudum, a "chance encounter" will change her life trajectory, though. Based on what we know about Andrzej Sapkowski's novel series, something tells us it'll have something to do with Ciri...
There's no official release date for The Witcher season 3 yet, so it'll be a while before we see these characters on our screens. But, with principal photography beginning in late March, hopefully the wait won't be too long.
Analysis: a Time of Contempt, indeed
If there was any doubt about which Witcher novel the show's next instalment would draw from, these casting announcements have all but confirmed which of Sapkowski's books it'll be based on.
Showrunner Lauren Hissrich had previously (and exclusively) told TechRadar that The Witcher season 3 would be based on Time of Contempt, the second novel in Sapkowski's Witcher novel series. Given that was always the plan for the show's third season, it may seem strange for us to say that these new cast member reveals outright confirm that season 3 will be based on Time of Contempt.
However, Netflix's adaptation of The Witcher has taken a number of creative liberties with its source material – something that some fans have criticized in recent months. So there was always the possibility that season 3 may be based on Time of Contempt, but wouldn't necessarily rigidly stick to what plays out in the novel.
The additions of this acting quartet – and the characters they'll portray – seem to suggest that The Witcher season 3 will align itself closely with Time of Contempt, though. Amell's Gallatin (and the Scoia'tael in general) have a major role to play in Time of Contempt. Meanwhile, in Sapkowski's novel, Geralt ends up inadvertently visiting Brokilin Forest (Milva's home) and Mistle encounters Ciri alongside her fellow Rats. Finally, the kingdom of Redania has a greater role to play in Time of Contempt and beyond – hence Radovid's appearance in season 3.
All of this, then, validates Hissrich's comments that The Witcher's third season will largely be based on Time of Contempt. With this particular book being her favorite one in Sapkowski's fantasy series, here's hoping that Hissrich and company do justice to the characters who appear in this novel, and the plot that plays out.