In an exciting announcement from Netflix, The Witcher is set to premiere on the streaming service later this year. The show is based on the Polish novels of the same name by Andrzej Sapkowski and stars Henry Cavill in the lead role as Geralt of Rivia. According to Sapkowski, who has been working on the series as a creative consultant, the series will be staying true to the source material and themes in his novels instead of diving into the narratives from The Witcher video game series.
The announcement of the Netflix series hit back in 2017, with casting news making the rounds in Fall 2018. A couple of casting choices managed to rile up fans of the fantasy series, including an ad that surfaced on the internet in regard to the casting of Ciri, but Cavill's casting was one that was met with a slew of mixed reactions. In a short clip of The Witcher test footage released on Twitter, Cavill stepped out in a wig of long, white hair with a clean-shaven face, and orange cat-like eyes. It appeared to many that the series would be keeping Cavill's likeness similar to Geralt's appearance in the novels, not the video games. There wasn't much to take away from the footage, and even though it wasn't what many were expecting, it was a sign that at least the ball was rolling on the TV series.
Now, Witcher fans can rejoice in the news that the series will be coming later this year instead of in 2020, when many were expecting a release date to be. According to Deadline, Netflix sent a letter to investors after receiving its first-quarter financial results and stated that they are, "looking forward to a strong slate of global content in the second half of the year." The Witcher was included in the announcement alongside the third season of The Crown, Stranger Things, and multiple other shows and movies. Although there was no specific date announced, Netflix revealed that The Witcher will be coming, "in the last three months of the year."
Currently, the series is still in production filming in Hungary, but is set to launch in Netflix's fourth quarter. Showrunner Lauren Hissrich, who also wrote and executive produced Daredevil and The Defenders, has stated that the series will have an eight episode run in its first season. The plot will follow Geralt, a monster hunter, as he battles literal and figurative demons alongside his allies, Yennefer and Ciri, played by Anya Chalotra and Freya Allen respectively.
The Witcher has the opportunity to become Netflix's Game of Thrones, if done correctly. Adapting from the epic fantasy novels with the help of the series' original author is an excellent way to assure Witcher fans that the story will be entertaining and investing. Not only that, but shooting has taken place in multiple locations across eastern Europe, making for an immersive experience that will fit the setting and tone of the show. The Witcher has potential to become a major hit for Netflix, maybe even a perfect filler for Game of Thrones fans after that series meets its end in May.
The Witcher will premiere on Netflix in late 2019.