The Witcher season 3 is set to enter full production imminently, if a new report and a main cast member's social media post are to be believed.
Filming on the next instalment of the hit Netflix show, whose second season only aired in December 2021, will begin any day now in Slovenia, according to The Witcher fansite Redanian Intelligence (opens in new tab). And, given that The Witcher's lead actor – Henry Cavill – is on location in the European nation, it seems that Redanian Intelligence's report has a fair amount of credible weight behind it.
We've known for some time that principal photography on The Witcher season 3 was due to start in early 2022. Showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich exclusively told TechRadar – in December 2021 – that the scripts for the show's third season were almost complete. Meanwhile, Hissrich and other prominent crew members were seen scouting new filming locations in January (opens in new tab).
Now, though, Redanian Intelligence claims that the bulk of the TV series' cast and crew have made their way to Northern Slovenia, with Cavill (Geralt of Rivia) and co-star Freya Allen (Ciri) spotted by the local population. Cavill has since taken to Instagram to reveal he's been reunited with Hector – Geralt's new horse – and stunt performer Laszlo Juhasz. It seems, then, that filming will start very, very soon.
Redanian Intelligence's report goes on to suggest that season 3 will be shot in numerous locations, including Kranjska Gora and Postojna. Meanwhile, The Fellowship of Fans Twitter fan account states that Predjama Castle, which is situated near Postojna, will be closed on Tuesday, April 5 (opens in new tab). Could it be locked down for the day so filming on The Witcher season 3 can take place? It's possible, but unverifiable at this stage.
Interestingly enough, The Witcher season 3's imminent start date comes almost a year to the day since principal photography wrapped on its second season. The TV adaptation's previous instalment finishing shooting on April 2, 2021, so it would be a fitting return date if The Witcher's third season starts filming around that date.
If you missed it first time around, check out our spoiler-free review of The Witcher season 2. And, while you're here, read our exclusive interview piece with Hissrich, Cavill, and the rest of the cast on The Witcher season 2's development.
Analysis: Will The Witcher season 3 land on Netflix in 2022?
It's unlikely. Filming on The Witcher seasons 1 and 2 took a long time, so we'd expect principal photography on the show's third season to be another lengthy affair.
The Witcher season 1 took seven months to shoot, with filming beginning in October 2018 and running to May 2019. Owing to the ongoing pandemic, season 2 took even longer – production starting in February 2020 and not being completed until, as we mentioned earlier, April 2021.
If The Witcher season 3 starts shooting in April 2022, all of its footage should be in the can by late 2022. Even then, though, there'll be a long post-production phase, with VFX, potential pick-ups and reshoots, episodic editing, and other work to complete before the third season is ready to go.
Our opinion? Don't expect The Witcher season 3 to debut on Netflix before early 2023 – and that's looking at things optimistically. We wouldn't be surprised if it doesn't launch until mid-2023, given the sheer amount of work required until it's ready to be released.
Still, we're prepared to wait, as long as the show's third season does justice to Andrzej Sapkowski's fantasy novel series. And, in particular, The Time of Contempt book, which season 3 will largely be based on.
We really enjoyed The Witcher season 2, but there are plenty of fans who weren't happy with the creative choices made throughout its eight-episode run. Hissrich, Cavill and company, then, have to earn that trust back with the show's next instalment.