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Release date, cast, news, and more for Netflix’s ‘The Witcher.’

Fans of The Witcher franchise and its white-haired-monster-hunter Geralt of Rivia will soon get a TV adaptation of the series on Netflix. The streaming giant announced it was making a series based on The Witcher back in 2017, and now we finally have some details on how it could shape up. Here’s what we know about Netflix’s The Witcher so far. 

What you need to know about Netflix’s The Witcher

netflix the witcher lzuniy/YouTube

Netflix’s The Witcher plot

The nuts and bolts of The Witcher’s plot aren’t yet known, but writer Lauren Hissrich (who served as co-executive producer on Marvel’s Daredevil) says the show will be eight hour-long episodes.

netflix the witcher LaurenHissrich/Twitter

While eight episodes might be short compared to other Netflix series, Hissrich said the reduced length wasn’t a decision made to alleviate risk.

“Creative, yes. Scheduling, yes. Budget, to an extent, because we can focus more on the production of each episode. But not risk. Netflix is, by definition, not ruled by fear — but by adventure and exploration,” Hissrich said.

Hissrich mentioned that she has written the pilot episode, but the seven other episodes “don’t exist yet, except in my head.”

So what does this mean for The Witcher’s actual plot? Well, if you consider the short season length and the expansive lore explored in both the original books and the games, it’s reasonable to expect that this first season of The Witcher may just test the waters with individual, self-contained episodes. 

The books may actually be the smarter choice to follow here, despite the game franchise’s relative accessibility. One of the first books in the series, The Last Wish – Introducing the Witcher, showcases a series of short stories that help flesh out Geralt’s motivations, rough personality, and mysterious past before venturing into the other books’ longer narratives. There’s plenty of plot threads to pick from, including the throne-room intrigue of a beast claiming a princess’ hand in marriage, Geralt’s run-in with a lovestruck creature dwelling in a mansion, and a tense standoff with a female warrior who equals Geralt in cunning. All these stories have the potential to become great one-off episodes, if only so a potential second season might mean more when we rejoin the cast. If the show alternately follows Geralt’s quest to protect and later find his adopted daughter Ciri, it will likely stretch into multiple seasons, given the lengthy nature of both the books and the three games.

Netflix’s The Witcher cast

Hissrich was equally as coy with details about potential casting, stating “[without] spoiling anything, I think it will vary. There will be episodes that are epic in scale, and those that are more intimate. These stories demand that flexibility.”

Hissrich did tease that some “dream casting [is] happening.”

netflix the witcher lzuniy/YouTube

Dedicated fans of one particular character can rest easy, though. Hissrich confirmed that Geralt’s borderline-moronic horse Roach will indeed be a part of the journey.

As far as predictions go, it’s a safe bet that most major characters like Ciri, the beautiful mages Yennefer and Triss, and the smooth-talking bard Dandelion may join Geralt along the way. It remains to be seen whether the show follows the books’ or the games’ interpretations of each character.

Netflix’s The Witcher news

Fans of the original books will be glad to know that author Andrzej Sapkowski is credited in a consulting role for the series, after having what could generally be considered a stressed disinterest in the development of the video games.

“The game – with all due respect to it, but let’s finally say it openly – is not an ‘alternative version’, nor a sequel. The game is a free adaptation containing elements of my work; an adaptation created by different authors,” Sapkowski said in a 2012 interview with Eurogamer Poland.

The Witcher game developer, CD Projekt Red, is not involved with the show.

The series’ filming location has been confirmed as “eastern Europe,” which might give the series a distinctly Polish flair, given that Poland is author Sapkowski’s home country and a clear inspiration for much of the Witcher’s visual style.

netflix the witcher LaurenHissrich/Twitter

Hissrich has also confirmed that she wasn’t the only writer joining the crew. She’s joined by Jenny Klein (Jessica Jones, Cloak & Dagger), Sneha Koorse (Daredevil), Declan de Barra (Funky Fables), Clare Higgins (The Golden CompassThe Worst Witch) and additional writers who have yet to be revealed.

Netflix’s The Witcher trailer

We obviously don’t have a trailer yet for a Netflix show that’s not yet written, much less filmed. But if you’re new to the franchise, here’s a quick video to catch you up.

Netflix’s The Witcher release date

netflix the witcher TheWitcher/YouTube

The Witcher series will likely be released sometime in 2020, according to Hissrich. “We’re moving quickly ahead with everything—like, my head is spinning around Exorcist-style, except with enthusiasm, not evil possession—but one thing is certain: quality comes before speed. You’ll get it as soon as humanly possible, and it’ll be good,” she said.

This article is regularly updated with new information as it’s released.

Joseph Knoop

Joseph Knoop

Joseph Knoop is a gaming writer for Daily Dot, a native Chicagoan, and a slave to all things Overwatch. He co-founded the college geek culture outlet ByteBSU, then interned at Game Informer, and now writes for a bunch websites his parents have never heard of.

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