It seems that this year, Netflix can’t stop churning out adaptions of popular media. If the hotly-anticipated Death Note coming out this August wasn’t enough, the entertainment service has decided to take a stab (and a hack and slash) at the hit role-playing video game series The Witcher, a role-playing game that has received a mass cult-following in the past decade.
Almost a year and a half after an official announcement was made, gaming fans have finally received an update on the production of the ‘Witcher’ live-action adaption. The first announcement said that a live-action film of ‘The Witcher’ was in it’s early developmental stages, but nothing else beyond that. But just a few days ago, another update was released, stating that the Witcher would not be made into a standalone film, but a whole television series! Safe to say, this news sent the gaming community into a rampage of re-tweets, FB sharing and of course, some Tumblr fan-casting (#Viggo4Geralt).
As we normally do in our entertainment articles, here’s a simple summary of the series: The Witcher is a trilogy of role-playing games revolving around a lone Witcher (a magic-enhanced sorcerer/monster-hunter) and his journeys across a war-torn, monster-infested world. Throw in some political/royal court intrigue, some Supernatural-esque monster-slaying, some sex and bloody violence, you have the makings of a particularly grisly (and awesome) episode of Game of Thrones, which considering the series’ origins might not be too far-flung a comparison.
Whilst many would likely know the story as a trilogy of bestselling video games, The Witcher the series originally started off as a collection of short stories written by Polish author Andrzej Sapowski (good luck pronouncing that), published in the Polish sci-fi magazine, Fantastyka. Seven of the short stories were compiled into a standalone book, The Last Wish (1993) which later built the foundation for the first in a consequential series starting with Blood Of Elves (1994). The series enjoyed a relatively large fanbase across all of Europe so much that in the early-2000’s a Polish video game company known as ‘CD Projekt’ pitched a Last Wish-based video game to Sapowski, promptly receiving his blessing. In 2007, the first game was released, marketed as ‘The Witcher’ and garnered fairly positive reviews. The second game, ‘The Witcher II: Assassins Of Kings’ soon followed in 2011 to widespread acclaim and ‘The Witcher III: The Wild Hunt’ in 2015, to even further praise, winning over seventy-six gaming awards last year alone.
The release gave very little information besides the fact that Sapowski himself will be acting as Creative Consultant (which most shows have never done before), that Mummy and The Expanse alums Sean Daniel and Jason Brown will be serving as producers and Tomas Baginski, the director of the intro videos for all three video games will be directing at least one episode. The release also went out of it’s way to confirm that CD Projekt Red will not be involved in the project, which seems to imply that the show will be based on the books and not the games.
It may be early days, folks, but you can consider this Witcher fan sold on the idea. For newcomers or those unfamiliar with the series, here’s a taste of the show’s potential; a trailer of the third game. Readers be advised that the video contains violence, gore, nudity and a creepy-ass lullaby: