Witcher Director Lauds Henry Cavill, Says Show Was ‘Demanding’

Witcher director Marc Jobst praised Geralt actor Henry Cavill for his hard work and dedication to bringing the fantasy character to life for three seasons, despite how demanding the show was.

In a recent interview with Screen Rant, Jobst, who directed two episodes in the first season of The Witcher and is working on Netflix’s live-action One Piece series, recounted how draining working on the series was for Cavill and the rest of the crew, who had to film in four different countries and learn fight choreography with heavy swords.

Read More: Can The Witcher Survive Henry Cavill’s Departure?

“Well, look, Henry has done three series, these are demanding shows to make, you know, they are huge. Henry does every single beat of his stunts, he won’t even allow a hand, if you’re doing a close-up of a hand grabbing a sword, it has to be his hand. So, normally, what you do is you bring in a double, Henry will go off and shoot some other scene in which he’s in somewhere else, and you get somebody else into the hand, so that you don’t have to bother your number one,” Jobst told Screen Rant. “Henry won’t do that, and as a result of that, the results are extraordinary. You’re working with an incredible athlete, first and foremost, who works out hours before, and hours after, you’ve been shooting for 12 hours, and who cares deeply about the work that he does.”

Despite the Witcher’s production being draining on Cavill, Jobst said his work ethic “brought the show into being” and motivated the rest of the crew to go beyond making the series a serviceable adaptation and instead aim to make it “fantastic.”


Witcher cast dismisses Cavill exit rumors, vouches for Hemsworth

Cavill announced his departure from The Witcher as well as the news that he’d be replaced by Hunger Games actor Liam Hemsworth late last year. While fans have theorized that Cavill’s exit might have something to do with his frustration with Witcher showrunners’ deviation from the books, the real reason for his departure is still unknown.

Read More: The Witcher Season 3 Ended As It Began—Messily

In a recent interview with The Telegraph, Yennefer actor Anya Chalotra dismissed the rumor, saying “When we are all on set, we’re dedicated to playing these characters and bringing them to life in the best way. And that is exactly what I felt every day from Henry.”

Speaking with Games Radar, Jaskier actor Joey Batey said Hemsworth is putting in the work to pick up where Cavill left off with the Butcher of Blaviken ahead of The Witcher season 4.

“We’ve been emailing, we’ve been exchanging our favorite quotes from the books and things like that. I don’t think any of us are in the position to advise on playing Geralt but he’s throwing himself into it,” Batey said. “His training regime is insane and he’s been devouring the books.”


Baldur’s Gate 3 Director Explains Why Every NPC Was Mo-Capped

Larian Studios’ Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game Baldur’s Gate 3 wouldn’t be what it is without nearly hundreds of actors’ diligent motion capture performances, mo-cap director Aliona Baranova explained in an August 25 Twitter thread.

“For almost ALL the dialogue we recorded, we ALSO captured the actors’ mo-cap data,” she explained. “That means all 248 actors,” including Baranova’s girlfriend Jennifer English, who voices Shadowheart, “ALL the NPCs […] put on a mo-cap suit, and their movements, gestures, and physical choices were recorded and sent along with the audio files for the animators to use in game.”

That’s the heart of why “the performances [feel] so alive,” Baranova continued. Everything you see a character do in-game is a decision a live actor made for them, except for in cases “when the actors voiced animals, [when they recorded] additional dialogue, cinematic cutscenes, and, occasionally, if an actor was injured or unavailable to record.”

So, you have real people to thank for your favorite battlefield moments, quips, and all the interspecies romance you’ve been watching unfold across hundreds of hours.

Read More: The Baldur’s Gate 3 Sex Scenes, Ranked From Worst To Best

“The iconic head wiggles Jen did as Shadowheat WERE Jen’s actual head wiggles,” Baranova said. “The militaristic and alien-like movements of [Lae’zel] were [Devora Wilde’s] physical choices for the character.”

“But […] the magic really happened […] when [we performance directors] helped the actor connect to the text on a deeper, more physical level—when you could see what they were saying affect their bodies,” Baranova continued. “By working with the voice director, as a team, we aimed to get the best possible performances from the actors.”

The end results, which have made BG3 players feel anything from vengeful to super horny, are effecting and authentic. It almost makes you want to pay creatives well, or something.


Fallen Order Director Departs From EA

An image shows characters from Jedi: Fallen Order next to Stig Asmussen.

Image: Lucasfilm / EA / Kotaku / Barry Brecheisen (Getty Images)

Stig Asmussen, the director behind Respawn Entertainment’s Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and its recent sequel has left publisher Electronic Arts for unspecified reasons.

2019’s Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order was a huge hit, selling millions of copies and garnering rave reviews from critics and fans. Earlier this year, the game’s sequel, Jedi: Survivor, debuted to equally positive reviews and sales. Both games were seen by many as a huge improvement over EA’s previous Star Wars output, which included multiplayer shooters and canceled projects. And now, the man who helped lead development on the Jedi games is no longer with Respawn or the studio’s parent company EA.

According to a new September 13 report from Bloomberg, Stig Asmussen has left EA, with the Madden and Battlefield publisher confirming the news with the outlet.

When asked about the departure, EA provided Kotaku with this statement:

After careful thought and consideration, Stig Asmussen has decided to leave Respawn to pursue other adventures, and we wish him the best of luck. Veteran Respawn leaders will be stepping up to guide the team as they continue their work on Star Wars Jedi: Survivor.

The specific reason for Asmussen’s departure is not yet known. His exit from Respawn, at least from the outside, does seem surprising, as the Jedi games have been considered huge successes for EA and its stewardship of Star Wars. His sudden exit seems even more surprising when you consider that, according to Asmussen, the Jedi series of games was always meant to be a trilogy, implying a third game is coming in the future.

In March, a month before the launch of Jedi: Survivor, Asmussen told IGN that he “always wanted to see [the Jedi saga] as a trilogy.” He explained further that the team had “ideas of what we could do beyond [Jedi: Survivor].”

While it’s very likely EA and Respawn will develop a third game in the popular franchise, completing the presumably planned trilogy, it will seemingly be without the director who helped make the first two chapters memorable.


Bayonetta, Devil May Cry Director Says Goodbye To PlatinumGames

Hideki Kamiya, the man behind iconic character action games such as Bayonetta, Devil May Cry, and Viewtiful Joe, announced that he’ll leave legendary action game studio PlatinumGames after almost 20 years there.

Kamiya posted a message in Japanese on X (formerly Twitter) on September 25 announcing his departure, which is set for October 12. He later followed that post up with an English version that essentially said the same thing: although it was a tough decision that came with lots of consideration, he’s leaving PlatinumGames on his own accord.

“However, I feel this outcome is for the best,” Kamiya wrote in English. “I will continue to create in my Hideki Kamiya way. I hope you’ll keep your eyes peeled.”

PlatinumGames posted about Kamiya’s departure as well.

“We regret to announce that Hideki Kamiya will be leaving PlatinumGames on October 12, 2023,” the studio wrote. “We are truly grateful for his creative ideas, leadership, and contribution to the growth of PlatinumGames from our start-up to this very day. We believe that he will continue to succeed in his future endeavors as a game creator. We are looking forward to seeing the game industry grow into a better place with him in it. We wish him the best for the future!”

Kotaku reached out to PlatinumGames for comment.

Kamiya has had an illustrious career in the games industry. Starting as a designer at Capcom in 1994, he’d spend nearly a decade working on projects like Devil May Cry and Resident Evil before moving on to the now-defunct Capcom subsidiary Clover Studio (Viewtiful Joe, Okami) in 2004.Capcom shuttered Clover just two years after it opened, and Kamiya co-founded PlatinumGames shortly after in 2006. While he was already recognizable, it’d be his work at PlatinumGames that’d make him a household name. Games like Astral Chain, Bayonetta, and The Wonderful 101—alongside collaborations with Microsoft for the canceled Scalebound that was unceremoniously canceled after four years of development and Square Enix for the legendary Nier: Automata—solidified Kamiya as an action game aficionado and established PlatinumGames as the master of the genre. Even though he wasn’t directly involved in every one of the studio’s projects—like the action third-person shooter Vanquish, the open-world beat ‘em up Anarchy Reigns, and my personal fave, the over-the-top action-adventure game Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance—Kamiya’s presence can still be felt.

It’s a bummer to see Kamiya leave a studio he not only co-founded but also helped propel into the limelight with such critically acclaimed games. He told us to keep our eyes peeled, though, so I’m sure he’s got something delicious cooking in that game development oven of his.


Tears of the Kingdom Director On Missing Sheikah Tech

Hidemaro Fujibayashi, director of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, finally shed some light on what happened to all the Sheikah technology that was practically ubiquitous in Breath of the Wild but strangely absent in its sequel.

In Breath of the Wild, players discover relics of the Sheikah tribe’s technology littered across Hyrule in the form of towers, weapons, and mechanical enemies. However, in Tears of the Kingdom, practically every trace of Sheikah Technology has disappeared. Even characters like Purah and Robbie, who led research efforts into the tech in BotW, don’t utter a word about its sudden disappearance in TotK. In an interview with The Telegraph, Fujibayashi revealed that the disappearance of Sheikah technology in TotK basically boils down to the tech being a thing of the past that evaporated once its purpose was complete.

“They disappeared after the Calamity was defeated (sealed),” Fujibayashi told The Telegraph. “All of the people of Hyrule also witnessed this, but there is no one who knows the mechanism or reason why they disappeared, and it is considered a mystery. It is believed that since the Calamity disappeared, they also disappeared as their role had been fulfilled.”

Read More: The Legend Of Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom: The Kotaku Review
Buy The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom: Amazon | Best Buy | GameStop

Fujibayashi also went on to explain that Sheikah technology’s sudden disappearance wasn’t an out-of-the-ordinary phenomenon for Hyruleans but an unremarkable occurrence with the many mystifying events that transpire in Hyrule.

“It is, anyway, commonplace for mysterious events and strange phenomena to occur in Hyrule. Thus, people have simply assumed the reason behind the disappearance to likely be related to ancient Sheikah technology and it seems there is no one who has tried to explore the matter further,” Fujibayashi said.

Read More: Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom Players Are Building Tanks, Planes To Commit War Crimes

Fujibayashi’s explanation about Sheikah tech being largely forgotten makes sense considering Hyruleans in Tears of the Kingdom have plenty of new stuff on their minds, as they need to deal with players constructing bomber jets, Korok torture devices, and statues with flame-spewing dicks thanks to Link’s new Fuse ability. See, you’re probably thinking about Link’s flamethrowing dick statue right now.

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