Netflix accepts a task worthy of Geralt himself: to make a great The Witcher TV show
A Witcher TV series, the ability to change PSN names, and game streaming from Microsoft and Sony.
The Witcher 3 is one of the greatest games ever, and if you haven’t played it yet, you ought to remedy that. It looks amazing, and has a fantastic script worthy of Andrzej Sapkowski’s original short stories and novels. Titular monster hunter Geralt and his world have previously been seen in movie and TV form, via a series and film both known in English as The Hexer, but opinion on these is divided. Netflix aims to do better with its in-development series, details of Witcher now starting to come out. Due some time in 2019, there will be eight episodes, four of which are to be directed by Alik “ooh, he directed some of Game Of Thrones” Sakharov. Plot details are understandably thin on the ground, although a script leak temporarily sent some fans on the rampage. In the snippets that escaped onto the internet, Geralt and Yennefer were constantly swapping wisecracks, leading to fears that the show wouldn’t stay true to the characters. Showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich (whose writing credits include Daredevil and The West Wing) swiftly took to Twitter to assure people that, while real, the script extracts were written specifically for auditions – and were not representative of the finished product.
Speaking of auditions, who’s playing who? Well, we know (thanks to The Hollywood Reporter) that Geralt Of Rivia himself will be played by… Henry Cavill. Yes, that bloke who was in an episode of Midsomer Murders once (oh, and apparently he’s played the part of some ‘Superman’ person in a few movies). Not our first choice – that would obviously be silver fox, and Geralt lookalike, Paul ‘Bake Off’ Hollywood – but it’ll be interesting to see how he plays the role.
Meanwhile, the actress who must have impressed the most with the sassy scripts that worried fans is Anya Chalotra (seen playing the similarly-named Jennifer in Wanderlust), who’s playing Yennefer. Ciri will be played by Freya Allan (The War Of The Worlds mini-series). Other confirmed cast members include Jodhi May as Queen Calanthe, and Adam Levy as the druid Mousesack. Yes, Mousesack.
If your nerves still aren’t settled from the leaked script excerpts, rest easy knowing that Sapkowski himself is on board as a creative consultant. It’s also been revealed that the show will be shooting in ‘Eastern Europe’, which surely means at least in part in Poland, the birthplace of the Witcher franchise (or
“Plot details are thin on the ground, although a script leak sent some fans on the rampage”
“Wiedźmin” to give it its original name). Also:Roach confirmed! We’re on track for an authentic Witcher experience.
Don’t expect the series to lift anything directly from the games though, as Hissrich says that “the videogames are the sole visual representation of these stories, and we needed to create our own visual representation”. Don’t tell her about the existing film and TV series, eh? Still, she’s shown enormous enthusiasm for the project, and we’re excited to see what she does with it. Who wouldn’t be? Freeing the TV version from the games is a clever move as they’s have a tough time matching up.
Netflix may have a patchy track record with its original programming (*cough*Iron Fist*cough*), but when it’s good, it’s brilliant. If it manages to mess this up even with Sapkowski’s involvement, it’ll look very Ciri indeed.
We’re not sure if Cavill’s old enough to carry off the role, but at least we know he can rock a chin full of stubble. In the Netflix series, as in the games and books, Geralt’s horse is named Roach. Why? No idea. He never explains.
The question is, has anyone warned him about the iconic bathtub scene? Our pals at PC Gamer will be distraught if it’s not in the show. Things have a habit of dying, burning, exploding, or turning into werewolves when Geralt’s around. We already know the series won’t be boring. After Geralt, fans were concerned about the casting of Ciri and Yennefer – but it looks fine.