Why ‘The Witcher’ Has a Good Shot at Becoming a New Netflix Favorite

Netflix subscribers will soon be entering a new realm with The Witcher, and fans of the series are excited that the characters are getting the live-action treatment. Yesterday, the streaming giant dropped its first trailer and the show is already being touted as a replacement for those still weaning themselves from Game of Thrones.

Henry Cavill stars as one of the leads, Geralt of Rivia, alongside a host of actors from around the globe. Although no official premiere date for the fantasy series has been announced, Netflix has been promoting the show for weeks, releasing first look photos, a trailer, and a sneak peek of footage during Comic-Con. Adaptations don’t always win people over, and Netflix stories are sometime hit or miss, but The Witcher has viewers curious. Could it bring Netflix’s numbers back up and be a home run?

The Witcher logo
Logo for ‘The Witcher’ | Netflix

First trailer shows skillful production

Monsters, elves, magical beams of lights, and mystical trees accompany the medieval fight scenes in the teaser. The scenery and cinematography can be compared to other fan-favorite epics, including Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, and dare I say it, The Shannara Chronicles. According to IMDb, the series’ filming locations include Budapest, Hungary, Spain, and a castle in Poland.

The clip shows Geralt and Roach along with main characters Yennefer and Ciri. The costumes, the aerial shots, and the makeup (those eyes), are giving fans who are on the fence hope that the visuals seen in the trailer live up to expectations. It’s rumored that one episode of The Witcher costs roughly $10 million, so it is reasonable to expect spectacular CGI and other special features in the show.

The story is adapted from the books

It’s been shared that The Witcher for Netflix is based on the books and not the popular set of video games. But that doesn’t mean fans won’t see elements from the games in the show. That could please both the book lovers and the gamers! According to The Hollywood Reporter, Cavill spoke on his love for the games and Geralt’s character during his appearance at Comic-Con this year:

“I’m a big gamer. I’ve played the games a lot. There was something about Gerald that struck a chord with me. He’s not your average hero. He’s a hard exterior, real-world type person and at the same time, deep down, he’s a real hero. It’s very important for me that you know it’s Geralt and it’s not some guy doing Geralt stuff but it’s me in there.”

Lauren S. Hissrich, showrunner for The Witcher, explained that the show will expand on the book series created by author Andrzej Sapkowski. It was important to her to give each character depth while building the world of The Witcher. However, fans might be surprised that the TV series will not be based on The Saga.

Instead, she leaned on the collection of short stories from The Last Wish, which serves as a prequel to the popular first novel. Hissrich talked to Comicbook.com, saying that it was the first book she read in the series and it influenced how she approached things with Netflix:

“You know how with anything it is the first time that you experience the world, you fall in love with it in a totally different way. I love all of the books, but that was really my entrance into the world. So yeah, I drew a lot from it, mostly because I really think that, and forgive me if I said this in the panel, the panel is huge blur that I’m not absolutely sure about. It really is world building in ‘The Last Wish’ that I found to be the most important thing.”

The cast and crew include fantasy sci-fi pros

While Cavill is known for his role as Superman (and more), there are other seasoned sci-fi/fantasy talents working on The Witcher. Freya Allan, who stars as Ciri, has been in Into the Badlands and will play in The War of the Worlds miniseries. Harry Potter alum Anna Shaffer is the sorceress and Geralt’s love interest, Triss Merigold.

David Peterson, a language creator for Games of Thrones and Thor: The Dark World, is behind creating elf-speak and other dialects for The Witcher. Jodi May—who plays Queen Calanthe—has an extensive résumé which includes a number of medieval dramas.

Filming for The Witcher has wrapped but a release date has not been announced. People are curious about how the show will turn out, and Netflix might have another hit show on its hands. Look for The Witcher to premiere during the last quarter of the year.