‘The Witcher: Blood Origin’: Who is Jodie Turner-Smith, the Netflix Prequel’s First Cast Member?

The runaway success of The Witcher on Netflix has prompted the streaming giant to think big when it comes to expanding the series. In addition to an animated feature film, Nightmare of the Wolf, a six-episode prequel miniseries is also on the way, known as The Witcher: Blood Origin.

Now, the first cast member for Blood Origin has been announced: the British Queen & Slim star, Jodie Turner-Smith. So, who is she, and who is she set to play?

Jodie Turner-Smith has a lead role in ‘The Witcher: Blood Origin’

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Turner-Smith will play a character named Éile, according to Variety. The outlet’s report describes the character as a “warrior” with “the voice of a goddess.” The events of the series will see her leaving behind her previous life to become a wandering bard, before calamity forces her to take up the sword once again.

The daughter of Jamaican immigrants in England, Turner-Smith started her professional life as a banker in Pittsburgh before moving to Los Angeles to pursue modeling. She eventually made the jump to acting, landing small roles on HBO’s True Blood, TNT’s The Last Ship, and Syfy’s George R.R. Martin adaptation, Nightflyers.

Turner-Smith’s breakout role came opposite Daniel Kaluuya in 2019’s Queen & Slim. Directed by Melina Matsoukas, the film followed a young Black couple on a blind date that must go on the run after an altercation with a racist cop turns fatal. Along the way, the couple’s bond grows stronger and their story takes on a “Bonnie & Clyde” style mythic stature.

According to IMDb, she will next appear in Amazon’s Without Remorse, a Tom Clancy adaptation starring Michael B. Jordan as John Clark, a Navy SEAL who goes rogue in a quest for revenge. She is also set to appear in the arthouse sci-fi film, After Yang, and Borderland, a thriller set amidst the Irish Republican Army.

‘Blood Origin’ is set 1,200 years before the main story

Witcher star Jodie Turner-Smith attends the "Queen & Slim" Premiere
Jodie Turner-Smith attends the ‘Queen & Slim’ Premiere. | Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

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The Witcher: Blood Origin is being overseen by Lauren Schmidt Hissrich, creator of the original Netflix series, with creative input from Andrzej Sapkowski, author of the original Witcher book series. Declan de Barra, a writer and composer for The Witcher, will serve as showrunner for the prequel, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Set over a millennia before the Henry Cavill-led adventures of Geralt, Blood Origin will explore an event known as the “Conjunction of the Spheres,” which sees the parallel worlds of humans, elves, and monsters merge together. The chaos caused by this event necessitates the creation of the very first Witcher. It is unclear if Turner-Smith’s Éile is this original monster-slayer in question, or if that particular role has yet to be cast.

With casting this far along, it is possible that Blood Origin could ramp up filming by the end of 2021. This production timeframe might see the series premiere in 2022. The second season of The Witcher is set to hit Netflix sometime this year.