By Karl Hughes
At some point in the next few months, Netflix will be dropping their answer to the hole left by the absence of Game of Thrones.
The Witcher is a known brand and involves some high value stars, a whopping budget, and a unique fantasy setting. If you’ve played the game or seen the memes, then you know the depth of this storytelling.
Whether it translates onto the small screen is yet to be seen, but the moment that the official release date is confirmed, we can expect a flurry of social media interest, of which there has been plenty already.
Here’s what you need to know about the TV series that might just be the most ambitious project to date from Netflix.
It’s not a video game adaptation
Lots of people are wondering if this is going to be the series that breaks the curse of the video game to screen adaptation.
However, this show is not based on the Witcher game itself. Instead, it is an adaptation of the Witcher books, written by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski.
What’s it about?
The story follows main character Geralt of Rivia, played by former Superman Henry Cavill. Geralt is a lone hunter of monsters, and the story of his travels across the land will comprise of eight episodes.
It’s a fantasy story so it’s jam-packed full of elves, dwarfs, and an entire menagerie of wonderfully fleshed out monsters that Geralt usually has to fight to the death.
Despite this, the character of Geralt is surprisingly relatable and fans of the novels are excited to see how well the books will translate into television, especially considering the rather grandiose budget of around £10 million per episode. That’s not far off the Game of Thrones budget, so it’s no wonder that so many people are already making comparisons.
Seriously, Henry Cavill?
It surprised almost everyone on the planet when Cavill was announced as the lead in The Witcher. But it shouldn’t have been a shock.
Cavill is a huge fan of the games and the books, and was so desperate to play the part that he called his agent every day in the run-up to auditions until Netflix gave him the role (probably just to stop his agent harassing them).
It’s also cool that Netflix has made sure that the author of the series is on-board too, and with his role of creative consultant firmly established, there are high hopes that the epic fantasy will stay true to the source material.
Fans of the games aren’t going to be too disgruntled either, because Tomas Baginski, the man who directed those amazing sequences that open the Witcher games, has been signed up to direct at least one episode.
Can Netflix Really Do This?
Netflix hasn’t got the best reputation when it comes to creating their own content. For every Stranger Things there’s ten badly produced, badly written, and badly cast shows and films.
But they’re certainly not holding back on The Witcher. As well as the mind-boggling budget and the calibre of the lead actor, they’ve also gathered some additional top-notch talent to flesh out the fantastical, bleak world.
Some of the more recognisable names include Lars Mikkelsen, Mia McKenna-Bruce, and Freya Allan.
As with any much-loved source material, fans are quick to point out their displeasure when things don’t look like they expected.
The first pictures of Henry Cavill (complete with wig) were largely met with online ridicule, but when the trailer dropped at San Diego Comic-Con 2019, the excited squeals of fans was heard around the world.
The hype and hopes are high, and with a morally ambiguous set of characters, a budget that ties the whole thing together, and an actor in Cavill who was let down by the appalling DCEU films, fantasy fans are hoping that this is the show that will bring Sapkowski’s dark tale to life.
‘There’s a grain of truth in every fairy-tale’, said the witcher.
If there’s any hope for The Witcher TV series, then that truth is simple; be amazing, or else.