Netflix Adapting "The Witcher"—And Here’s What We Know
Wed, April 21, 2021

Netflix Adapting "The Witcher"—And Here’s What We Know

According to a report by GamesRadar, the upcoming Witcher series on Netflix will not focus on fantasy but on “more grounded horror.” / Photo by: olegdudko via 123rf

 

“The Witcher” is coming to Netflix soon, with previous Superman Henry Cavill taking on the role of Geralt of Rivia. For those who are clueless what this highly anticipated fantasy TV series that many are expecting to attain a “Game of Thrones”-like popularity, “The Witcher” is based on a series of short stories written by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski.

Collider, the ultimate source for impactful entertainment news, shared on their website that the first story was titled “Wiedzmin” (“The Witcher”), written by Sapkowski for a magazine contest in 1986, and detailed what Witchers are—people with supernatural abilities and started training when they were children to fight monsters . The story, which focused on one such Witcher called Geralt of Rivia, landed third place and it was given the chance to be published in the fantasy magazine called Fantastyka. Three more stories followed and all four were put together as a collection titled “The Witcher” in 1990. Two years later, a second collection of short stories was released titled “Sword of Destiny” and, not long after, a third collection known as “The Last Witch.” 

Because of the success of these short story collections, Sapkowski started to write a five-book series called “The Witcher” that told the saga of Geralt and Ciri, a princess from Cintra whom Geralt tried to protect in the middle of a political upheaval. The first book, “Blood of Elves,” was released in Poland in 1994 and in 2008 in the US. During the following years, the other four were released: “Time of Contempt,” Baptism of Fire,” “The Tower of the Swallow,” and “The Lady of the Lake.” A novel titled “Season of Storms” was also published after the saga.

 

"The Witcher" video game game quickly became popular and received positive reviews. / Photo by: BagoGames via Flickr

 

Video Game Adaptation

With the franchise’s massive popularity, it was just a matter of time before a video game version was released. That happened in October 2007 when “The Witcher,” a 3D action-adventure and role-playing video game was developed by CD Projekt Red and published by Atari for PC. The game quickly became popular and received positive reviews. Because of this, the game developer immediately started working on The Witcher 2 and The Witcher 3. 

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings was finished much faster compared to the first game without sacrificing quality. Released in 2011 for Windows, it won more than 50 awards such as Game of the Year, best PC game, best RPG, best story, best graphics, and best adaptation. 

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was released in 2015. It was another massive success for CD Projekt Red. Its detailed open-world game and very compelling narrative were enough for it to get wide acclaim from critics and players worldwide. The game also became one of the most successful franchises in history, selling more than 40 million copies around the world. 

On to Streaming

According to a report by GamesRadar, an entertainment website dedicated to video game-related news, previews, and reviews, the upcoming Witcher series on Netflix will not focus on fantasy but on “more grounded horror.” Julian Parry, the show’s visual effects supervisor, said in an interview with SFX magazine that it will “lean more toward horror. We’re taking the fantasy out. I can honestly say we’re not fantastical. I mean, it’s fantastical but in a grounded-horror sense. For example, with Striga [a woman cursed to live as a monster], that’s one gnarly-looking thing. That’s very unpleasant!”

PC Gamer, a magazine founded in the United Kingdom and devoted to PC gaming, reported that in the series’ trailer, it was evident that there will be a lot of fighting. They also explained that “The Witcher” will be a personal story that will bring the audience into Geralt’s personal life, which is very different from how the video games depict him as the brooding warrior who lusts for blood and battle. The show also has a clear fantastic setting where the fantasy and horror genres exist together. 

Additionally, a report from GameSpot, an online portal that delivers the best and most comprehensive video game and entertainment news, said that “The Witcher” TV series is planned to have at least seven seasons, according to the program’s showrunner, Lauren S. Hissrich, who has also worked on the “Daredevil” show. Sapkowski is also said to be part of the creative team to make sure that the series will stay true to the original story. 

“The Witcher” series excited fans more when they learned that Henry Cavill took off his Superman cape for Geralt’s white and mighty hair. Freya Allan and Anya Chalontra were also announced to be a part of the series. They will don the characters of Princess Ciri and Yennefer of Vengerberg, respectively. The plot will focus on Geralt, Ciri, and Yennefer, who will work together to navigate within the Witchers’ world known as the Continent while fighting a multitude of beasts.