Casting has officially begun for Netflix’s The Witcher - and we’re incredibly excited
Game of Thrones fans everywhere are busy readying themselves for the hideous reality that the eighth season of the show, due next year, will be the last. But there could be a new saga to occupy that dragon-shaped hole in your life in the form of The Witcher.
Rising to prominence as an action role-playing videogame, based on the best-selling fantasy novels from Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski, the games have shifted more than 33 million copies worldwide. So we’re talking a properly huge series here.
Known collectively as the Witcher Saga, Sapkowski’s eight novels and story collections center on ‘witchers’ - hunters who develop supernatural abilities at a young age to battle deadly monsters.
And The Witcher, in many ways similar to Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones, is now getting the Netflix treatment.
This gory trailer for the 2015 game The Witcher III: Wild Hunt gives you a little taste of what you can expect from the show…
Showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich, who has previously written episodes of The West Wing, Daredevil and The Defenders, has even revealed on Twitter that the casting process for the show has begun – and uncovered their ingenious trick to stop spoilers leaking onto the internet:
It's Friday night in LA, and it's been a seriously great week here at #Witcher.— Lauren S. Hissrich (@LHissrich) June 23, 2018
Let's talk casting. Yes, I said the magic word! Casting is starting soon, and no, I can't tell you who our top picks are so don't ask. But. There is something very important you need to know. pic.twitter.com/9dfkhBIyo0
Normally, when casting a show, the casting director pulls character-specific scenes from the pilot script for actors' auditions. However, because we're casting internationally (which means lots of emails and self-tapes) and because we know by now the internet keeps no secrets --— Lauren S. Hissrich (@LHissrich) June 23, 2018
-- the writing staff has instead created entirely new scenes for our main characters. These are written to illustrate the precise tone, vibe, depth, and emotional resonance we need from Geralt and friends... but voila! They are spoiler-free, for us and for you. Which means --— Lauren S. Hissrich (@LHissrich) June 23, 2018
-- if you start seeing Witcher scenes floating around the internet in the coming weeks -- yes, they're probably real! But no, they won't give anything away as to the stories we're telling, or the ways we're telling them. You're safe. For now.— Lauren S. Hissrich (@LHissrich) June 23, 2018
And hells yes, his name is Jaskier.
There’s no word yet on who’ll be taking the lead role of Geralt of Rivia – but one fan has made a frankly fantastic trailer with Casino Royale villain Mads Mikkelsen taking up the prime part:
“I’m thrilled that Netflix will be doing an adaptation of my stories, staying true to the source material and the themes that I have spent over thirty years writing,” said Sapkowski last year when the TV deal was announced. “I’m excited about our efforts together, as well as the team assembled to shepherd these characters to life.”
Sapkowski will serve as a creative consultant on the series, which is expected to air in 2020.
Executive producers Tomek Baginski and Jarek Sawko added: “There is a moral and intellectual depth in these books which goes beyond genre. It is a story about today and today’s challenges, hidden under a fantasy cover. It is a story about us, about the monster and the hero inside all of our hearts.”