Netflix may be making progress with its quest to find its own Game of Thrones. According to DC insider KC Walsh, Netflix is “very happy” with its upcoming live-action adaptation of The Witcher, and may be considering greenlighting multiple seasons of it before it even airs season 1 in 2019. The DC angle here is that it means Man of Steel star Henry Cavill may be tied up even longer, so his return to playing Superman in the DCEU may be very delayed, if it ever happens again at all.
The Netflix show is adapting the original books, featuring a younger, beardless Geralt that was shown off in a bit of promotional material that had everyone comparing Cavill’s portrayal unfavorably to Legolas. Before that, the show was mired in controversy as the showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissirch was constantly confronted by fans demanding perfect faithfulness to the books, the games or both, and for a while there was a rumor that Ciri would be played by a non-white actress, which caused further anger among a similar crowd (Ciri was ultimate cast as white).
But all these various dust-ups have nothing at all to do with the quality of the show, and if Netflix is already expressing confidence in what they’re seeing this early, that’s certainly good to hear. The video game industry has been searching for a truly great movie adaptation endlessly, so perhaps it will be a TV show that finally breaks through (yes, yes, it’s adapting the books, not the games, but it still counts).
It does seem like The Witcher has a lot of potential to be a solid fantasy series given how much the series is already beloved, and what a great character Geralt is in particular. Cavill always felt like a bit of an odd choice for the role, but he’s reportedly a big fan, so I’m sure he’ll be bringing his all to the portrayal.
I’m curious about the budget of this. Rival Game of Thrones is one of the most expensive pieces of media ever made, and The Witcher shares its fantasy setting and will need a large budget for either practical or digital creature effects, with all the monsters Geralt will need to be hunting. But I suppose we don’t know huge-scale battles in the show like Thrones, but I really am dying to see a trailer at the very least. I’m not going to fully judge the show based on a single screen test and a bad wig.
We still have no actual premiere date for The Witcher, which should be out some time in 2019. If the rumors are true, this could end up being a Netflix staple for several years to follow, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what they’ve come up with here.
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