The Witcher Prequel Blood Origin Has Lost Its Star, Jodie Turner-Smith

Jodie Turner-Smith as Melantha in Nightflyers.
Jodie Turner-Smith as Melantha in Nightflyers.
Image: Syfy

Less than two months after it was announced that Queen & Slim star Jodie Turner-Smith would be playing the lead in Netflix’s upcoming prequel to its hit adaptation of The Witcher series, Turner-Smith has had to step down due to scheduling conflicts.


Deadline reports that the change has come after after Blood Origin was forced to delay the start of production. The Witcher’s second season has only just wrapped filming, delayed extensively due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Turner-Smith had been cast in the role of Éile, an elite Queensguard-turned-wandering bard more than a millennium before the events seen in The Witcher. It’s the time period in which the “Conjunction of the Spheres” takes place, a cataclysm that combined multiverses and brought monsters, humans, and magic to a world of elves, dwarves, and other traditional fantasy races.

The question of whether humans should be counted as one of the monsters is quite fair, given that they’ve slaughtered and persecuted the elves nearly to extinction by the time The Witcher rolls around, but it’s also a world where those same humans have helped create the titular magically enhanced mercenaries to help fight back monster kind.

Blood Origin, which will be a six-part limited series, has no announced premiere date as of yet. Turner-Smith, meanwhile, has been cast as the English Queen Anne Boleyn in a three-part mini-series for the UK network Channel 5, which is quite cool, even if it’s not quite “slaying fantasy monsters” cool.

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Rob Bricken was the Editor of io9 from 2016-18, the creator of the poorly named but fan-favorite news site Topless Robot, and now writes nerd stuff for many places, because it's all he's good at.



a three-part mini-series for the UK network Channel 5

Oof. Channel 5. Not well known for their original scripted content.

This other Anne Boleyn show was on their website:

The about section really sells it.

Lavish two-part historical documentary, with reconstructions.

That’s it. They couldn’t think of anything else to say about the show. Not even who was in it.

The Witcher would definitely be better exposure, and probably a lot more interesting for her as an actor.