If you’re familiar with Witcher, it likely comes from an awareness of the video game. And you may, like me, not have realized that the game is actually based on a fantasy book series by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. Sapkowski’s eight novels and story collections focus on, of course, “witchers,” who are imbued with supernatural abilities as young folk, and later must use those powers to battle deadly monsters. Both the book and the RPG focus on the protagonist Geralt, the “White Wolf,” and his saga in defeating dark creatures. But the game has also been praised for not just being a sword-and-board slasher, which is one reason why it’s gained such immense popularity.
There are, presumably, quite a few differences between the books and the game, though it seems clear that the new series will be focused on the former: “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,” said Sapkowski in a press release. “I’m excited about our efforts together, as well as the team assembled to shepherd these characters to life.”
That language seems to suggest, if I may read into it (and lean-in to some rumblings that have been on the internet today) that Sapkowski is taking control of the story again, to re-focus on his Witcher novels. He’s serving officially as a creative consultant on the project, with The Expanse‘s Sean Daniel and Jason Brown serving as executive producers (which feels like very good news). The two said of the story,
“The Witcher stories follow an unconventional family that comes together to fight for truth in a dangerous world. The characters are original, funny and constantly surprising and we can’t wait to bring them to life at Netflix, the perfect home for innovative storytelling.”
The duo will also be partnering with Tomek Baginski (Oscar-nominated short The Cathedral)) and Jarek Sawko (The Fallen Art) from the Polish production and visual effects company Platige Image. They added that,
“There is a moral and intellectual depth in these books which goes beyond genre. It is a story about today and today’s challenges, hidden under a fantasy cover. It is a story about us, about the monster and the hero inside all of our hearts.”
Let us know what you think about this news, and what you would like to see in this adaptation (and most importantly of course who should play Geralt?) The TV series pickup also leads to the inevitable question: Is Witcher going to be Netflix’s Game of Thrones?