The Witcher, a beloved book series by Andrzej Sapkowski turned gaming icon, is coming to Netflix. CD Projekt Red, the creators of The Witcher games, will not be involved in the creation of this series. It will instead be based on Sapowski’s stellar novels.
Fans are rabidly awaiting every drop of news: and there was big news today.
Lauren S. Hissrich — already well known for her writing and direction on projects like The Daredevil and Defenders for TV — is serving as writer and director for The Witcher. And she has finished the pilot episode.
— Lauren S. Hissrich (@LHissrich) January 20, 2018
This means, in the world of TV, that they now have a framework with which to cast the show. It is quite probable, with the “normal” speed of television, that we will see a Witcher series as soon as early Summer in 2019. Of course, that is all speculation at this point, and Netflix has yet to weigh in on a final release date.
About The Witcher Story
Witchers are supernatural monster hunters. But, they don’t start out that way. They are raised from childhood to be powerful magic-wielding mercenary types. If you have a monster, they will contract with you to handle it. Witchers are mutated by chemical and magical elements as they grow, imbuing them with the power they need.
On the flip side of that power is that they can not have children. That means that Witchers can take jobs for a marker for a future payment – and sometimes that payment is a child. That child is raised as a Witcher, and thus are Witchers brought into the world.
Witchers aren’t bogged down by the sexual mores of the western world. They can’t really get any STIs and they don’t reproduce. So, we can expect more than just great action and flashy magic.
Geralt of Rivia is the main Witcher character in the series, known as the White Wolf because of his bright white hair. So far, he’s the only one we know for sure will make the Netflix series. However, it’s likely we’ll see his lover Yennefer and other beloved main characters as well. The interplay and character development being essential parts of this great series.
As the official Netflix synopsis reads: “The Witcher Geralt, a mutated monster hunter, struggles to find his place in a world where people often prove more wicked than beasts.”
A Creative Team Made in Heaven
Hissrich is facing the same kind of pressure that any writer adapting a deeply involved mythology to the television screen. The fans of these books are going to want it done right, and Hissrich’s credits show she can do it. However, CD Projekt Red has a decade of successful adaptation including the landmark the Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – so they may seem to be a tough act to follow.
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 thirty years writing.
I’m excited about our efforts together, as well as the team assembled to shepherd these characters to life.
Add that to the announcement that director Tomek Baginski, who worked with CD Projekt Red on the games, will direct at least one episode, and you have a team that just screams “hit show.” He said that the series has been in the works for a long time, and was originally slated to be a feature film. However, there is simply too much to cram into a single film, so a series is the only way to do it justice.
Hissrich has already promised, there will be no watering it down. This show will be dark. It will be gritty. It will be ribald and earthy and supernatural – fans will accept nothing less.
The Fandom Has Spoken – Trailers Galore (None Official)
When it comes to what fans want to see from the Witcher on Netflix, there isn’t a whole lot of guesswork. Because with the magic of internet video and video editing, the fandom has created a bunch of “trailers.” Though yet uncasted, unfilmed and still in the haziest early stages of production, fan wishlists have become reality through the creation of “teasers.”
Some of these are designed to look official, however, Netflix has not (repeat: has not) released an official trailer.
Like this one, on Facebook, that uses the CD Projekt Red logo despite them not being involved. (Does anyone want to tell the class where this footage is from? Anyone? Lady of the Lake? Arthur? Anyone?):
Or this one from a German publication, which seems to carry the Netflix watermarks. They ask if the Witcher can be the next Game of Thrones: the answer? All the pieces are there, and yes, that does give it a shot. However, it is far to early to tell:
And, yet another here, it’s pretty clear what fans are hoping for:
Fandom’s wish list for the role of Gerald include Mads Mikkelson, Nikolaj Coster Waldau, and even Hugh Jackman. The names of cast members from Lord of the Rings and Vikings have also been bandied about.
More to Come, the Books and the Release Date
With Netflix’s stellar track record for producing some of the absolute best entertainment available for the small screen, the chances that this series will deliver on the promise it has are pretty darn good.
As we’ve said about the release date, it hasn’t been announced. But, there is reason to believe it will be in mid-2019. Hopefully, we’ll see a trailer around the end of 2018, if we’re lucky.
Here is a video with some pretty solid guesses as to how this all plays out, and we finally see Geralt of Rivia in this epic:
Where to get the books:
Featured Image: Composite with promotional photos via HBO, Projekt Red, and History Channel.