As the premiere of Netflix’s “The Witcher” fast approaches, showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich shared insight on how the show will differ from the original books written by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski.
Hissrich explained that the Netflix series is trying to move away from being “entirely” grounded in the fantasy genre themes of epic battles, combat, and dynastic struggles.
“Although these are still present in the show, the ordinary stories of people is what I liked the most in the books. The relationships between the characters, especially between Geralt, Yennefer and Ciri,” the showrunner said, adding that she has always wanted to tell a story about a broken family which is uniting and breaking apart again.
She underlined that the biggest change the show will make compared to the books is giving more screen time to the two lead female characters, Yennefer and Ciri, which are only shown from Geralt’s viewpoint in the original novel.
“In the books, they are shown from Geralt’s point of view, how he sees them, and it was important for me for the audience to first meet them separately, to see how their story begins and what road they take and only then see what happens when their paths cross,” Hissrich said.
Netflix’s “The Witcher” is based on the internationally best-selling Witcher fantasy book series by Sapkowski. The books focus on the titular Witcher Geralt of Rivia and his adventures.
The show has also raised some controversy regarding what was seen as an attempt to be politically correct by casting a black and Asian actress to play a character that was described as white in the novels. The novels were originally set in a Medieval period and influenced by Slavic myths and legends.
“The Witcher” is not the only fantasy series where the issue of political correctness arose. In 2010, the casting director for the “The Hobbit” movies was fired after he put a call for actors with “light skin tones” to be cast for the roles of hobbits. The termination came despite J.R.R. Tolkien’s work being set in a world that reflected Europe and based on Anglo-Saxon, Celtic and Northern European lore
The first season of Netflix’s “The Witcher” will be released on Dec. 20, 2019.