Netflix’s chief content officer revealed this week that the Witcher show, an adaptation of the Polish fantasy epic-cum-video game dynasty, is going to arrive on the streaming service later this year — just in time to fill the void left by a certain other fantasy show’s conclusion.
CCO Ted Sarandos confirmed the intended fourth quarter release during an earnings call, according to Variety. His tone when he describes The Witcher is almost charmingly jejune — he says it’s “a big new original series that we’re currently shooting in Hungary called The Witcher, that is an enormous European IP, very popular game and Book IP, that we think is going to make a really fun global series.”
I would have thought almost everyone was clued into what The Witcher was around the time Netflix managed to coax Henry Cavill away from Warner Bros to play Geralt, the titular character (who, incidentally, looks considerably less like a grizzled piece of meat here than he does in the game). The show itself was announced almost two years ago, with some of the developers who designed cinematics for the video game reportedly being part of the production.
Get your first look at Henry Cavill in The Witcher! pic.twitter.com/1O2eWS1MkP
— Netflix US (@netflix) October 31, 2018
The last game in the series, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, was released in 2015. Rumors swirl about CD Projekt Red, the games’ developers, working on a new Witcher game, set in the same universe but not starring Geralt. At the moment, they appear to be focused entirely on their upcoming Cyberpunk 2077. The Netflix show will reportedly be based the series of novels and short stories by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, but as the games are extremely popular all over the world (33 million copies sold, at last count), I’d be very surprised if material from them didn’t seep into the show somehow.
It’s pretty good timing that Netflix will have this sexy fantasy series set to go less than a year after the ending of Game of Thrones. The two aren’t really related thematically — The Witcher is more about one person (Geralt) and his destiny, while GoT‘s primary source of appeal are the interactions between the members of its ensemble cast. But there are quite a lot of complex politics, attractive people making sexy eyes at each other, and a devastating ice age happening at some point in both worlds. Yeah, I’d be very surprised if the marketing for this show won’t play up the resemblance just a bit.
So far, the other series in the works that could slake the thirst for complex fantasy stories — namely, Amazon’s Prime Lord of the Rings series and Netflix’s own Chronicles of Narnia adaptation — are still reportedly in pre-production.
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