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Acting Legend Dolph Lundgren Joins ‘The Witcher’ Universe in New Spin-off

Ryan McLachlan
Photo Credit: Robyn Beck / AFP / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Robyn Beck / AFP / Getty Images

Dolph Lundgren, best known for roles such as Soviet boxer Ivan Drago in Rocky IV and Gunner Jensen in The Expendables films, is set to join The Witcher universe on Netflix. He confirmed in an interview with Aftonbladet that he is shooting a series in South Africa that’s a spin-off of The Witcher. Here’s what we know about it so far, and a few things you might not have known about The Witcher.

‘The Witcher’

Promotional image for the series The Witcher with Henry Cavill, Anya Chalotra, and Freya Allan
The Witcher (2019-). (Photo Credit: Netflix / michaella92 / MovieStills DB)

The Witcher premiered on Netflix in December 2019. It’s based on a series of fantasy novels written by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski and the show gained significant popularity through a successful video game adaptation. The series follows the adventures of Geralt of Rivia, portrayed by Henry Cavill, a solitary monster hunter known as a Witcher, as he navigates a dangerous and magical world filled with monsters, sorcery, and political intrigue.

Set in a medieval-inspired fantasy realm known as the Continent, The Witcher intertwines three main storylines. The first storyline revolves around Geralt of Rivia. The second focuses on Yennefer of Vengerberg (Anya Chalotra), a powerful sorceress whose journey showcases her transformation from a hunchbacked outcast to a formidable mage. The third follows Ciri (Freya Allan), who is a princess whose journey becomes intertwined with Geralt’s.

Lundgren’s spinoff

Dolph Lundgren in The Expendables (2010)
The Expendables (2010). (Photo Credit: Millennium Films / Lionsgate / Jox / MovieStills DB)

Nothing has been confirmed about Lundgren’s role in The Witcher universe, however, it is believed that he will be introduced in the upcoming third series, which will lead into the spinoff series that he will be part of. The third series will be an adaptation of Sapkowski’s third book, Time of Contempt. In it, a gang of criminals known as the Rats are introduced.

It is believed that the Rats are getting their own spinoff after their introduction in series three, and since the criminals are all teenagers or young adults, we’re not quite sure how Lundgren will be part of it. The story of the Rats is linked with that of bounty hunter Leo Bonhart, so Lundgren may take on that role. Bonhart’s storyline is connected to Ciri’s, so if Lundgren does take on this role, we could see him cross over to the main series.

Facts you might not have known about ‘The Witcher’

Henry Cavill’s portrayal of Geralt has captivated audiences. It might surprise some to learn that he was originally turned down for the role. Cavill was already a fan of the books and was excited to get the chance to play Geralt. Showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich actually found Cavill’s insistence “really annoying.” Despite this, Hissrich couldn’t see anyone else taking on the role, and after a proper audition, Cavill secured the part.

Cavill’s love of the books didn’t end when he got the role. He has constantly pushed for the addition of dialogue for his character so he’s presented to television audiences the same way the character is presented in the books. Cavill feared that his portrayal was too one-dimensional in the first series, and it’s easy to see the evolution of Geralt in the second.

Promotional shot of Henry Cavill in The Witcher.
The Witcher (2019-). (Photo Credit: Netflix / Yaut / MovieStills DB)

When casting for the series first began, production initially barred actors who had been part of the series Game of Thrones from joining the cast. According to Ian Beattie, known for playing Ser Meryn Trant from 2011 and 2015 on the HBO series, the bottom of the casting call sheet bore the line: “No Game of Thrones actors.” Despite this, GoT alum have taken part, including Francis Magee.

It would be hard to talk about The Witcher and not mention Cavill’s famous bathtub scene. To ensure that his physique looked the way he wanted it to, Cavill seriously dehydrated himself. This meant he went two days drinking very little, and on the third day, he drank none. This ensured his skin was tight on his muscles, and while it paid off, we don’t think we’d want to do it.

More from us: ‘Game of Thrones’ Could Have Looked a Lot Different if Ray Stevenson Didn’t Turn Down the Series

The third series of The Witcher will be presented in two parts. Volume one will premiere on Netflix on June 29th, and Volume 2 will follow on July 27th.

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Ryan McLachlan

Ryan McLachlan is a historian and content writer for Hive Media. He received his Bachelor of Arts in History and Classical Studies and his Master of Arts in History from the University of Western Ontario. Ryan’s research focused on military history, and he is particularly interested in the conflicts fought by the United Kingdom from the Napoleonic Wars to the Falklands War.

Ryan’s other historical interests include naval and maritime history, the history of aviation, the British Empire, and the British Monarchy. He is also interested in the lives of Sir Winston Churchill and Admiral Lord Nelson. Ryan enjoys teaching, reading, writing, and sharing history with anyone who will listen.

In his spare time, he enjoys watching period dramas such as Murdoch Mysteries and Ripper Street and also enjoys reading classical literature and Shakespeare. He also plays football and is an afternoon tea connoisseur.