As Netflix releases more and more cast photos from its upcoming Witcher show, a pattern has begun to emerge. Long-time fans of the video game series – which, like the show, is based on Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski's popular line of fantasy novels and is coming to Switch this year in the form of Witcher 3 – seem to be rather divided on some of the casting picks, with the negative comments usually relating to the fact that a certain character doesn't closely resemble their video game equivalent.
That's because, according to showrunner Lauren Hissrich, the Witcher show isn't taking inspiration from the games, but rather the original novels.
Speaking to 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. We’re kind of holding close to our chest what we’re doing in the first season. There’s a lot of obviously epic excitement that starts in the saga of the books. But the short stories provided a lot of world building and lay the foundation of this Continent and the politics of it and the understanding of the people of it and those really came into focus in the first season.
Hissrich added that, much like real life itself, there's not necessarily going to be 'good' guys and 'bad' guys and there certainly won't be a central baddie:
It’s not a secretive aspect. There isn’t really a villain. One of the things we’re enjoying exploring is all the shades of grey in the books. The characters you’re rooting for in the beginning may not be the characters you’re rooting for in the end. And characters you hate and seem absolutely evil are motivated by something that’s really relatable and human and emotional. I found writing it and then watching it afterward that your allegiance switches a lot. You constantly try to put yourself in the shoes of characters and think what would you do [in a situation]. I think you’ll end up having a lot of empathy for characters you didn’t expect to.
Netflix's Witcher series launches later this year, and will comprise of eight hour-long episodes. With the flames from Game of Thrones now dying down, this could be a well-timed venture by the streaming giant.