Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt ranks as one of my favourite games of all time – and I’m not alone. The game has is critically and popularly acclaimed, having won over 800 awards – including 250 Game of the Year awards. In June 2019, developer and publisher CD Projekt Red announced that they had sold more than a staggering 20 million copies of the game.
So, when Netflix announced their television adaptation of the sprawling fantasy epic in May 2017, you can only imagine the pressure to deliver on the expectations of a truly devoted fanbase.
Thanks to the announcement at the Lucca Comics and Games convention in Italy, we now have a launch date – the 8 episode series will premiere on Netflix on December 20th.
And we have a trailer:
Holy crap – the voice. He’s nailed the voice. Goosebumps territory.
Will it meet the expectations of fans? Certainly the casting choices show a commitment to a faithful rendition. Henry Cavill is a perfect Geralt, Anya Chalotra simmers as Yennefer and Freya Allan looks at first glance like a great choice as Ciri.
“The Witcher” series is based on the Polish fantasy novels by Andrzej Sapkowski, who was engaged in the development of the Netflix series from the outset as a creative consultant. Laura S. Hissrich, formerly a producer for Daredevil and The Defenders, is the shamelessly devoted show-runner.
In terms of adaptations of the games, Hissrich has already hosed down expectations on this front, telling the press round table at Comic-Con, “Extreme long vision is no, we will not start adapting the games. I can only attack one season at a time, I’m so excited for this one, the rest kind of makes my mind explode right now. If someone says ‘what happens in Season 7,’ sure I have thoughts. Fingers crossed, we get there.”
The Witcher will obviously invite comparisons with Game of Thrones, and certainly both settings align in terms of adult-oriented fantasy and with morally ambiguous characters. But The Witcher wears its high fantasy heritage much more visibly on its sleeve, and doesn’t shy away from its more magical elements. That is certainly confirmed by this trailer, and follows on from the first teaser trailer released at San Diego Comic-Con this year.
The worst monsters are the ones we create. Indeed.