Though most people are familiar with The Witcher because of the game trilogy, it actually began as a series of short stories and books by Andrzej Sapkowski. The books (and the games) follow the adventures of the witcher Geralt of Rivia, as he battles monsters in a land known only as The Continent.
In 2017, fans will be able to enjoy The Witcher on the big screen, as the Sean Daniel Company has partnered with Platige Films to make a feature-length film based around the character. This will actually be the second film adaptation of the character, though it will be the first to come from Hollywood.
The film won’t actually be a direct adaptation of the games, though it will still feature Geralt as the main character. Instead, it will be based on the themes of the short stories ‘The Witcher’ and ‘Lesser Evil,’ both of which can be found in the Last Wish story collection. Provided the film proves successful, it can be assumed that future films would also be based primarily on the stories instead of being direct video game adaptations. A television continuation of the film series is also planned, though this likely depends on the success of the first film.
The Sean Daniel Company does have some experience with fantasy material, being the producer of the Mummy franchise for Universal. It is also the production company behind the upcoming remake of Ben-Hur. Platige Films has experience with Geralt himself, being a feature-film subsidiary of the company that produced the cinematics for all three of The Witcher games. Tomasz Bagiński, an Academy Award-nominated director, who also served as the director of the cinematics for the games will direct.
This seems like the sort of project that will either be amazing or terrible, with the needle leaning a bit more toward amazing. The cinematics in The Witcher games were very well done, conveying action and emotion instead of coming across ham-fisted or campy like so many fantasy titles do. The possibility of a TV series continuing the experience between feature films is also kind of exciting, especially given the amount of source material that Sapkowski has produced over the years.
The lack of big-budget Hollywood experience on Platige Films’ part and the hit-or-miss nature of some of the films in the Sean Daniel Company’s library may make some fans hesitant, however. Even if it fails to win over most Witcher fans, they should find at least some solace in the fact that it will still likely be better than the first film adaptation, Hexer. Even Sapkowski hated that film, stating when asked for his thoughts on it that he could “answer only with a single word, an obscene, albeit short one.”
The Witcher is in pre-production in anticipation of a 2017 release.
Source: Sean Daniel Company