Fans of fantasy and folklore have reason to be excited. Netflix has acquired the rights to a English drama series based on the popular Witcher universe, written by Polish novelist Andrzej Sapkowski and popularized worldwide by CD Projekt Red in The Witcher action-adventure video game series. Producers and a production company have been named, but the big question on everyone’s mind is clear: Which actors and actresses will take up the reigns of the big names in a Witcher television series?
The CG visual effects company Platige Image S.A. made the announcement in a press release on their website on May 17, 2017 that they would be developing The Witcher series in partnership with Netflix as the producer. Sean Daniels (The Mummy franchise) and Jason Brown (The Expanse) will be co-executive producing the series. It appears to be more heavily set towards the books than the video games, as CD Projekt chimed in to mention that they have no part in the Netflix Witcher collaboration, but nonetheless wish it luck.
Though there are a few big names attached, no acting talent has been named for the situation. Despite this, the fervent community of fans behind all corners of The Witcher series have chimed heavily in with their desires for major roles like Geralt of Rivia and Triss Merigold. It is up to the point where online petitions have gathered thousands of signatures as the community rallies behind their picks. That said, who really does deserve to take the spotlight in a Netflix Witcher series? We have a few picks of our own.
The man drawing some of the most attention for the main Witcher role of Geralt of Rivia is none other than Mads Mikkelsen and it’s not hard to see why. From Le Chiffre in 2001’s Casino Royale to his calculating take on Dr. Hannibal Lecter in the Hannibal TV series, Mads has a steely presence even in his most gentle roles that speaks volumes to the grizzled toughness that defines Geralt. In his role as Galen Erso in 2016’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Mads practically looks like what could be a distant cousin of Geralt’s already. Mads Mikkelsen is a talented actor that brings a powerful presence to every role. His sharp demeanor would fit a young or old Geralt very nicely.
Let’s not beat around the bush. There is probably no one who is better at playing a character that has seen some serious expletive substance than Hugh Jackman. Not only was his role as Wolverine in the many X-Men movies over the years masterful, but his swan song performance of the grizzled old version of the character in the movie Logan has us convinced that few others could pull off the sometimes-stoic-sometimes-rabid duality of Geralt better. If anyone could be in the titular Witcher’s role, it might as well be the guy that has nailed that character type down to a second nature for nearly two decades.
There’s something amazing about Noomi Rapace in many of her roles. From The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo to Prometheus, Noomi has a presence of innocence that can turn to vicious survival on a hair trigger. In her roles, she has proven herself capable of more emotion in ten seconds than many others put into a whole hour and a half movie. For that reason, Noomi strikes us as a fantastic Triss Merigold in The Witcher or perhaps more befittingly, a Ciri if Netflix were to take the series that far.
Karen Gillan hasn’t always killed it in her roles, but when she does it right, she does it spot-on. She’s got a straightforward delivery when it needs to be that way and a vicious streak when it calls for it, but there’s also a tenderness somewhere in there that looks like it could be opened with some effort right before it’s shrugged off and the facade continues. Every part of that nature can be seen in her portrayal of Nebula in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies. It’s not hard to see how every part of that could also translate over quite well to a quick-witted devil like Triss Merigold.
Kate Beckinsale has made a good part of her career out of fighting monsters in the Underworld movies, but that’s not the only reason she belongs in a Witcher universe. Kate’s also got a mature beauty and fascinatingly piercing demeanor that fits her like no one else. She commands attention and authority when she has the chance to stop jumping around for a bit and that style fits a certain Witcher character perfectly. If Netflix is thinking about exploring the Yennefer character in the series, there are few others that fit the bill for Yen’s wickedly dry personality and no-nonsense authority over magic like Kate Beckinsale.
Jason Mamoa is a bit of a hot commodity for a number of reasons right now, not the least of which is his role as Aquaman in Zack Snyder’s upcoming Justice League film, but the man knows his way around fantasy-fiction. His work as Khal Drogo in the Game of Thrones series was impeccable and that talent as a burly adversary most certainly has a place in The Witcher universe. Specifically, we think of the rogue mage of the Salamandra criminal organization, Azar Javed. For all of his magic and subterfuge, Azar also has a barbaric and imposing look and style about his being, something Mamoa excels in bringing to his roles.
Rami Malek might have one of the most perfectly punchable faces in entertainment. Whether he’s taking up the role of an enigmatic hacker in TV shows Mr. Robot or a psychopathic prankster in video games like Until Dawn, there’s just something about him that brings an untrustworthy edge to many of his roles. Yet, somehow, Rami Malek also has a sort of undeniable charm about him. It’s something you’ll let in without knowing it and before you know it, he’s got you right where he wants you. We really can’t think of anyone who might fit the role of a charming, soulful, artistic, and, at the same time, cowardly, miscreant, and opportunistic bard like Geralt’s good friend Dandelion better.
These are our picks, but who would your dream cast be? Who defines the grizzled Geralt or the tricky Triss in your mind as Netflix gears up for to put new faces and voices to The Witcher cast?
[Featured Image by CD Projekt Red]