It seems that Netflix is really kicking off the promotion for its new series ‘The Witcher’, which the streaming service hopes might wind up being its answer to *gasp* ‘Game of Thrones’. The series is based on a series of novels and short stories by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, which have also inspired a popular line of video games, however, showrunner Lauren Hissrich (‘Daredevil’) has been clear that the TV series is based on the novels, not the video games… for a good reason.
In an extensive interview with Entertainment Weekly, Hissrich said:
“We’re not adapting the videogames, it’s a straight adaptation of the books. Which is great as the videogames are also an adaptation of the books. They went one direction, we actually get to go another.”
Perhaps the thing that ‘The Witcher’ has going for it, that no others how can claim, is its star, Henry Cavill, famous for playing Superman in the DC Comics movies and August Walker in ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’. And it sounds as though he essentially cast himself in the role of Geralt.
“Henry is a huge fan of this property. He’s read all of the books. He’s played all the games. I met him at the very beginning of the process. He said, “I would love to play this character.” I said, “Henry, you’re amazing, but we haven’t even started thinking about casting yet.” Then I met 207 other possible Geralts. And I came back to Henry at the end. He was my very first meeting and four months later I called him and asked if he was still interested and he was. The first time I met him I hadn’t even started writing the scripts yet. And once I started writing I couldn’t get Henry’s voice out of my head for the character. Looking at the final product, it’s really exciting. He embodies Geralt in a way that I don’t think anybody else could.
“Henry brings subtitles to this character, finding emotional resonance in small moments, and playing it in such a subtle way that you understand what the character is going through without necessarily having huge chunks of dialogue. By the time we got to episode 108 — the finale of the first season — we didn’t even shoot half the dialogue because we knew there was so much Henry could do with Geralt that didn’t require my words.”
Netflix hasn’t announced when ‘The Witcher’s first eight-episode season will arrive, but it is expected this year.