The Witcher, a fantasy book series already engaging many fans globally by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, is currently under production and in development by Netflix.
Sapkowski’s anthology makes up for eight books and story collections that center on a secretive group of hunters trained from a young age to combat savage and vulgar monsters. The Witcher book series is a New York Times bestseller, and has also given rise to a leading video game franchise translated into over two dozen languages created by game studio CD Projekt Red.
The series is currently set to be adapted primarily from the book material, as CD Projekt Red has confirmed they have no involvement in the project, stating, “We wish this project all the best and are looking forward to watching the series on Netflix.”
Netflix Vice President Erik Barmack said the following regarding the announcement:
“Andrzej Sapkowski has created a rich and memorable world, at once magical and familiar. We couldn’t be more excited about bringing Netflix members around the world.”
Even though CD Projekt Red is not working on the project, Netflix has a great track record with material of this sort, as their Marvel series Daredevil has done extremely well on the platform with high reviews. Netflix is also currently producing the animated Castlevania series with help from Adi Shankar and DC Vertigo comic book icon Warren Ellis.
Tomas Baginski, director for the game intro videos, is already confirmed to direct one episode in the first season.
— Platige Image (@PlatigeImage) May 17, 2017
Sean Daniel and Jason Brown, producers for widely acclaimed science fiction TV series The Expanse and partners of The Sean Daniel Company, are set as executive producers of the project. Oscar-nominated Tomek Baginski will also be joining the project with Jarek Sawko from Platige Image. Baginski is said to also be slated to direct at least one episode for each season, adding to the ambition of the series spanning several seasons.
Sapkowski remarked on the project:
“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.”
Since the announcement was recently made, we have few details of the project, such as the casting of characters, when it will debut, filming locations, and which stories will be covered. Hopefully more information regarding these unanswered questions will follow in the days to come.
This has not stopped fans from speculating and theory crafting on platforms like Reddit in great detail as to how the series may ideally be set up and filmed, and as to who will be cast for the roles. There is also worry thrown into the mix, as movies based on games and books have not always lived up to snuff in the past, including a previous adaptation of The Witcher story, named The Hexer.
The concern for this adaptation is likely stemmed from the vestiges of Uwe Boll’s utilization of German tax loopholes to put out many video-game-inspired films of low quality, according to how poorly they were reviewed.
The Witcher series is full of sex, violence, and nudity not unlike that of Game of Thrones, which will be returning for a shortened, seven-episode Season 7 on July 16. Fans of George R.R. Martin’s famed book series and David Benioff and D.B. Weiss’ HBO adaptation could potentially find themselves in another intriguing story to watch unfold, with all the trimmings.
The series is bound to be a success if the previous work of all those involved, as well as how Netflix has handled material of this nature in the past, carries over into the ambitious project.