Director Tomasz Bagiński is teasing that Netflix’s The Witcher series will draw direct inspiration from The Witcher video games. It was only recently announced that the popular series of novels and short-stories by Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski were being adapted into a drama show produced by the popular streaming service. Since then, fans have been keen to know if the best-selling video game trilogy from CD Projekt Red will have any clear influence on the show.
In Sapkowski’s books, the “Witchers” are mercenaries skilled in fighting and witchcraft, and mostly hired for monster-hunting and extermination. Geralt (aka: The White Wolf) is a particularly adept Witcher, with a complicated love-life and a special connection to the ruling bodies of the mythical land he travels in. Whilst the literary version has a massive following in Poland, Russia and other Eastern European countries, most people in the West are familiar with the character through the best-selling games produced by CD Projekt Red, which are hugely popular with critics and gamers. The large open-worlds and optional quests make them experiences that are easy to lose days at a time in with some hearty adventuring. The games are also rightly praised for their mature themes and rich characterisations.
Whilst the show will be based Sapkowski’s books, it does indeed seem like elements present in the CD Projekt Red games will definitely make their way into the series. Speaking with the Polish website Inn Poland, Bagiński was asked about the similarities between The Witcher games and the Netflix series, and if the slightly-differing versions of Geralt (from the books vs. the games) will impact how the character is represented on the show. Bagiński responded by praising CDPR for their work on the games, saying that along with the novels it will give the series a chance to create its own interpretations of the same stories. And while he said that “they would look for their own path“, he also admitted that “there will be some similarities with CDPR’s take on the White Wolf“.
As the show is still in early development, there are no real further hints to the content apart from those comments. It’s not the first time that The Witcher saga has been adapted for TV. 2002 saw a show called The Hexer appear in Sapkowski’s home country, and a low-budget film was also released. Unfortunately both of these adaptations were heavily criticized by the author and they are practically unknown, outside of Poland itself.
Hopefully this new The Witcher TV series from Netflix will balance the most popular ingredients from both the books and the video games – giving rise to something that will excite fantasy fans and the many gamers that have played as The White Wolf himself.