Anna Shaffer

Casting: Virginia Madsen steps into Swamp Thing; Harry Potter alum joins The Witcher; Matthew Broderick enrolls in zombie high

Contributed by
Nov 1, 2018

Netflix is striking while the proverbial genre iron is hot. That means monster hunters and zombies galore. Here's the casting news you need to know for the streamer's upcoming sci-fi, fantasy, and horror programming, as well as a sci-fi movie from the concept designer on Moon.

Harry Potter actress Anna Shaffer has joined The Witcher series at Netflix as Triss Merigold, per IMDB. In the games, Triss is a sorcereress who had an unhappy romantic relationship with Geralt of Rivia. 

Shaffer, 26, portrayed Romilda Vane (a Hogwarts student vying for Harry's affections) in the final three Potter films. She also appeared in shows like Hollyoaks and Fearless.

The Witcher doesn't arrive until 2019, but Netflix gave us our first look of Henry Cavill as Geralt yesterday in a short hair and makeup test that drove everyone wild. 


Up next on the roll call is Matthew Broderick (BoJack Horseman), who has been added to the cast of Netflix's zombie high school drama series, Daybreak, writes Bloody Disgusting. This is the Ferris Bueller actor's first recurring role on a television show. 

Colin Ford (We Bought a Zoo), Alyvia Alyn Lind (Blended), Sophie Simnett (The Lodge), Austin Crute (Atlanta), Gregory Kasyan (The Brave), Krysta Rodriguez (Quantico), Cody Kearsley (Power Rangers), and Jeante Godlock (The Simone Biles Story: Courage to Soar) are also members of the cast, according to IMDB

Set in a post-apocalyptic version of Glendale, California, the dramedy series is about a teenager searching for his girlfriend across the zombie (or "ghoulie")-infested wasteland. Along for the ride are his high school bully (now a pacifist samurai) and a 12-year-old pyromaniac.

In this world, the cliched high school cliques have formed Mad Max-inspired marauding gangs: the Cheerleaders are now bloodthirsty Amazonian warriors, the jocks have gone from douchey to evil, and you don't even want to know what's become of the Chess Club. 

Daybreak Brian Ralph graphic novel

Credit: Drawn and Quarterly

Per BD, Broderick is playing "Burr, a cheerful, upbeat principal of Glendale High. Principal Burr knows the name of every kid in school and their favorite character to play in Overwatch."

There is currently no expected release for Daybreak, which is based on Brian Ralph's 2013 graphic novel of the same name. The adaptation is being overseen by Brad Peyton (Rampage) and Aron Eli Coleite (Star Trek: Discovery). 


Next, the upcoming Swamp Thing series appears to be moving forward, with Deadline reporting that Virginia Madsen (Candyman, Dune - as seen above) has been cast as Maria Sunderland — a wealthy socialite who gave up her posh lifestyle for a marriage to a wealthy businessman, whose husband's growing obsession with the nearby swamps has put a strain on their relationship.

The Oscar-nominated actress (for Sideways) will star opposite Crystal Reed's Abby Arcane, whose presence triggers some deep-seated grief in Sunderland over the death of her daughter, Shawna. Arcane, meanwhile, is there to investigate a possible swamp-born virus, only to find the boggy marsh is home to all sorts of secrets. 

Swamp Thing is based on characters created by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson, and slated to stream exclusively on DC Universe sometime in 2019, with Underworld director Len Wiseman helming the pilot episode. James Wan, the man behind The Conjuring franchise and the underwater epic Aquaman, serves as an executive producer. 


Lastly, Vox Lux's Stacy Martin has boarded Archive, a sci-fi feature from writer/director Gavin Rothery, Variety reports. Rothery served as the concept designer for Duncan Jones' Moon, so he knows a think or two about crafting a futuristic landscape. He also directed the 2014 sci-fi short The Last Man and no, it's not a sequel to Damien Chazelle's Neil Armstrong biopic. You can watch Rothery's short film here

Set in 2038, the movie will revolve around roboticist George Almore (Divergent's Theo James), who is attempting to create a human-equivalent AI that will enable him to reunite with his dead wife. Kinda sounds a bit like Keanu Reeves's Replicas

Stacy Martin

Credit: Victor Boyko/Getty Images

“Gavin has crafted a sci-fi film for the ages,” said producer Philip Herd of Independent. “It’s incredibly satisfying to see such an ambitious project come together with such brilliant talent.”

The production company's head of sales, Sarah Lebutsch, also chimed in with: 

Archive is one of those rare sci-fi scripts that is truly original and brings a completely fresh idea to the genre. We are hugely excited to be working with Gavin on bringing his idea to life, and couldn’t be happier with cast and crew that have come on board.’’


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