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The upcoming Netflix series, The Witcher, based on the original, Andrzej Sapkowski novels-turned-video games, doesn’t have a definite 2019 release date yet, but we do know Henry Cavill is putting the Superman cape to the side for now as he takes on the lead role. Directors, cast, workouts, and more—we’re getting more glimpses into what we can expect when The Witcher finally strikes.
Cavill, who stars as The Witcher, a.k.a. Geralt of Rivia, has been getting shockingly big for his new role, recently taking to Instagram (on more than one occasion) to show off his new body, including a recent shot next to a full-size statue of his former, Man of Steel self, posted by trainer Dave Rienzi.
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Incredibly productive trip to Budapest to prep and train @HenryCavill for key scenes in the upcoming @Netflix series #TheWitcher. His choice to take things to the next level is no small task as he’s currently working a grueling shoot schedule working French hours(12+ hour days -no lunch breaks) plus an additional 2 hours for hair and make up prep. His 110% commitment is no joke. Thank you to Adam @FlexgymBudapest where this Superman statue now lives. #RienziStrength
A big gamer, Cavill has been in Witcher mode for quite some time and even finished playing Witcher 3 to prep for the series. When it comes to the physical aspects of becoming Geralt, Rienzi—also The Rock’s personal trainer—is bulking Cavill up at the gym using a routine inspired by seven-time Mr. Olympia Phil Heath.
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The journey continues. Thank you to Mr Dave Rienzi for being such a wonderful guide. My physical journey over the years has been an interesting one, with plenty of pit falls and plenty of moments of reward. I've been reflecting on them a lot recently and I've been very fortunate to work with some fantastic minds. I'm thankful to them all. Recently I've been exploring some of the big players in bodybuilding, both from the past and the present. It's absolutely fascinating to see what they put themselves through, the drive and mental strength required to get to such a place physically. Phil Heath in particular has caught my eye not only for his achievements but also for his genuinely humble and informative approach to his messaging. All this while being a 7x Mr Olympia. If you haven't checked out his page it's worth a peek. @DaveRienzi @PhilHeath #GymStuff
Very little has been revealed about The Witcher plot, but series creator Lauren Schmidt Hissrich (a writer and producer on Daredevil) promised that the show will be done “as soon as humanly possible.” She already locked in three, relevant directors to helm the eight-episode series, including Alik Sakharov—who directed episodes of Ozark and Boardwalk Empire and covered cinematography on Game of Thrones—and Alex Garcia Lopez (The Punisher) and Charlotte Brandstrom.
The 70-year-old Witcher creator Sapkowski, who first launched fantasy series in 1994—starting with two short stories and later five novels—is not on board in any creative capacity as of press time but said, “I’m thrilled that Netflix will be doing an adaptation of my stories, staying true to the source material and the themes that I have spent over 30 years writing.”
The series also stars Freya Allan, a princess and witch-in-training, and Anya Cholotra as Yennefer of Vengerberg, Geralt’s “soul mate.” Very little is known about how the The Witcher will look on screen, aside from some filming in Hungary with some scenes filmed in the Canary Islands, which was recently revealed by director Brandstrom, who was with the cast in La Palma.
There’s also this early screen test of Cavill, which revealed a white-haired Geralt, who appeared less chiseled than his video game counterpart.
Stay tuned for more updates on The Witcher as they come in.