Netflix’s The Witcher Trailer Is Out; Showrunner Vows to Stick to the Books as Source

Alessio Palumbo

San Diego Comic-Con is happening this weekend and we've already gotten a great number of new trailers for upcoming TV shows and movies, including the very first proper footage of Netflix's The Witcher, which you can watch embedded below.

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So far, the reception has been positive overall. The trailer garnered almost 6 million views in less than a day and the like/dislike ratio is almost 10:1. There was a panel at San Diego Comic-Con, too, featuring the cast of Netflix's The Witcher. You can find it here.

Additionally, showrunner Lauren Hissrich (Daredevil, The Defenders, The Umbrella Academy) spoke with Entertainment Weekly to straighten out some facts about this adaptation, which will be straight from the books.

We’re not adapting the videogames, it’s a straight adaptation of the books. Which is great as the videogames are also an adaptation of the books. They went one direction, we actually get to go another. We’re kind of holding close to our chest what we’re doing in the first season. There’s a lot of obviously epic excitement that starts in the saga of the books. But the short stories provided a lot of world building and lay the foundation of this Continent and the politics of it and the understanding of the people of it and those really came into focus in the first season.

Hissrich, who said that fans will probably be surprised by the number of monsters they were able to do in the first season, also spoke about Henry Cavill's performance as the titular witcher Geralt of Rivia.

Henry is a huge fan of this property. He’s read all of the books. He’s played all the games. I met him at the very beginning of the process. He said, “I would love to play this character.” I said, “Henry, you’re amazing, but we haven’t even started thinking about casting yet.” Then I met 207 other possible Geralts. And I came back to Henry at the end. He was my very first meeting and four months later I called him and asked if he was still interested and he was. The first time I met him I hadn’t even started writing the scripts yet. And once I started writing I couldn’t get Henry’s voice out of my head for the character. Looking at the final product, it’s really exciting. He embodies Geralt in a way that I don’t think anybody else could.

In the books, Geralt is largely silent, to an extent. He tends to take in what’s around him and process that internally. But you can’t have [a lead character] process everything internally in a television show. So in the first episode, I wrote Geralt with a lot of lines. Henry shot them all, and in the edit we started pulling some of them out. Henry brings subtitles to this character, finding emotional resonance in small moments, and playing it in such a subtle way that you understand what the character is going through without necessarily having huge chunks of dialogue. By the time we got to episode 108 — the finale of the first season — we didn’t even shoot half the dialogue because we knew there was so much Henry could do with Geralt that didn’t require my words.

The Witcher will debut on Netflix later this year with eight episodes.

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