The Witcher: Blood Origin has just lost its lead actress

The Witcher: Blood Origin
(Image credit: Netflix)

The Witcher: Blood Origin, Netflix's prequel spin-off of its popular fantasy series, has been dealt a blow after its lead actress departed the project.

Jodie Turner-Smith, who was set to play elite elven warrior Éile, has left the series due to scheduling conflicts, according to Variety. In a brief statement, a Netflix spokesperson confirmed Turner-Smith's departure to the news outlet, but declined to comment further on the matter.

“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,” Netflix's spokesperson said.

According to Turner-Smith's IMDB page, the only other production that the Queen & Slim star is signed up for is action-thriller Borderland. Turner-Smith has been cast alongside John Boyega and Felicity Jones on the movie, but little else is know about it.

How damaging is Turner-Smith's departure from The Witcher: Blood Origin?

Regarding production on the prequel TV show, not that damaging. Turner-Smith was only cast as Éile in January, per Deadline, and principal photography on Blood Origin is yet to begin, too.

According to the Redanian Intelligence website, which covers every snippet of news on Netflix's Witcher universe, filming isn't expected to start on Blood Origin until next month. Additionally, showrunner Declan de Barra had only started to pen the scripts for the series in September 2020, which you can see confirmation of this in the tweet below.

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In terms of the TV show's cast, however, it isn't ideal to have lost Turner-Smith just one month before Netflix begins shooting Blood Origin. It's likely to be a bit of a scramble to hire another actress to portray Éile now, unless de Barra and company had someone in reserve just in case Turner-Smith had to bow out.

There's no word on who else may have been in the running to play Éile. Hopefully, it won't set filming back too much, particularly with The Witcher season 2 having finished shooting last week.

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Set 1,200 years before the events of The Witcher, Blood Origin will follow Éile, an elven warrior with the voice of a goddess, who leaves her clan to follow her dream of being a musician. Of course, things don't go to plan and Éile is forced to take up the blade once more in her quest for revenge and redemption. 

The six-episode limited series will also bear witness to the creation of the first prototype 'Witcher', which leads to the Conjunction of the Spheres event that merges many worlds together.

The Witcher: Blood Origin will launch exclusively on Netflix but, naturally, has no confirmed release date yet.

Senior Entertainment Reporter

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