Although The Witcher eventually became a video game industry juggernaut, the open world RPG franchise is actually an adaptation of a series of fantasy novels written by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. Sapkowski has been refining and expanding the world of The Witcher since 1986, but it was only after CD Projekt Red adapted his novels and short stories into a fantasy RPG title that The Witcher began to accrue global fame. The reach of The Witcher looks set to expand rapidly once more, however, as a press release from Netflix confirmed today that the streaming service would be producing a television series based on Sapkowski's books.
Netflix confirmed that the series would be English-based rather than Polish, presumably to reach a wider audience, and that the show already has its lead producers. The Witcher's Netflix series will also have the help of an Oscar-nominated filmmaker in Tomek Baginski, meaning there will be no shortage of talent available to turn Geralt's adventures into what could very well be the next Game of Thrones. Perhaps the biggest news, however, was that Andrzej Sapkowski would be featuring as a creative consultant on the series:
"I'm thrilled that Netflix will be doing an adaptation of my stories, staying true to the source material and the themes that I have spent over thirty years writing...I'm excited about our efforts together."
Sapkowski believes previous adaptations of The Witcher haven't been as close to their source material as he would have liked, and also thinks the amount of influence critics attribute to the video game series is overblown. The Witcher author remains convinced his books made the video games popular rather than vice versa, citing the fact that his works were published in the West well before the games were made. From the sounds of it, Sapkowski will have much stricter creative control over the television series.
Still, a lot of The Witcher games feature quests and storylines that are ripped straight out of the pages of Sapkowski's source material, and the television series will more than likely be familiar to fans of the game. Geralt, Yennefer, Ciri, and Dandelion are certain to appear, for instance, while quest lines like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt's "The Last Wish" will probably be central to the series given that story's importance to both Geralt and Yennefer's character development.
Regardless of where the new Netflix series fits in to The Witcher narrative and how much of the games are actually present on screen, however, the news that The Witcher is becoming a television show should have fans of political fantasy epics excited. Sapkowski will finally have the chance to prove that he's the creative mastermind behind The Witcher's global reach, too - just so long as he doesn't try and take credit for the success of Gwent, that is.