Quantcast

Netflix Producing TV Series Based on The Witcher, Author Sapkowski to Oversee

This is Niche Culture. In this column, we regularly cover anime, geek culture, and things related to video games. Please leave feedback and let us know if there’s something you want us to cover!

Get prepared for even more cheesy softcore TV erotica – we’ve learned that Netflix is producing a TV series based on Andrzej Sapkowski’s popular fantasy series, The Witcher.

While details are scant, we know Polish game developers CD Projekt RED aren’t involved (who adapted the series into a highly popular and successful trilogy of games), however Sapkowski himself is on board as a creative consultant (thanks, PCGamesN).

“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,” Sapkowski remarked on the project.

The news originally broke via Polish visual effects and production studio Platige Image, who posted the announcement over on their website. They likened the series to a “drama,” and said it will be in English.

Executive Producers Sean Daniel and Jason Brown are also pinned to the project, with their collective works including projects like Ben-Hur and the coming reboot of The Mummy. Tomas Baginski, one of the folks responsible for the opening movies in all three Witcher games, is also set to direct at least one episode per season.

In case you missed it – you can read our review for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt here (we highly recommend it, it was our 2015 game of the year!). What do you hope for in a series based on The Witcher? Sound off in the comments below!

Image source: Maul Cosplay

,

About

Owner and Publisher at Niche Gamer and Nicchiban. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. Pronouns: Patriarch, Guido, Olive, Catholic



54 comments
  1. Ebicentre
    Ebicentre
    May 17, 2017 at 4:15 pm

    I’m thrilled that Netflix will be doing an adaptation of someone else’s stories,
    staying true to the source material and the themes that I have spent
    over thirty years plagiarizing

    There, fixed that for you, Mr. Sapkowski – you old, lying fuck. Oh, and boo-hooey for you, the games are more popular than your books.

  2. LibidinBoy
    LibidinBoy
    May 17, 2017 at 4:45 pm

    U wot?
    from where did Sapkowski plagiarized? I never knew this

  3. CrimsonColossus
    CrimsonColossus
    May 17, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    From Michael Moorcock’s “Elric” series.

  4. LibidinBoy
    LibidinBoy
    May 17, 2017 at 5:07 pm

    from what I can gather, Geralt is no more or less a rip-off of Elric than Elric is one of Monsieur Zenith, as in albino swordmen.

  5. Funtime Happysnacks
    Funtime Happysnacks
    May 17, 2017 at 5:35 pm

    It’s funny because Sapkowski has gone on at length about how he hates people associating Witcher with the games rather than the books, not surprised he finally decided to just try his hand at getting a TV series made.

  6. Funtime Happysnacks
    Funtime Happysnacks
    May 17, 2017 at 5:41 pm

    Sapkowski is just easy to dislike because he doesn’t seem fond of the method through which his series has gained popularity (vidya), and is very vocal about how video games could never tell the same story as books and etc

  7. Uncle Ocelot
    Uncle Ocelot
    May 17, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    Apparently there was already a Witcher TV series in Poland a while ago.

  8. Funtime Happysnacks
    Funtime Happysnacks
    May 17, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    There was also a movie, called “The Hexer”, but we don’t speak of that.

  9. Uncle Ocelot
    Uncle Ocelot
    May 17, 2017 at 5:55 pm

    iirc, it was the series cut down into a 2 hour film. A very bad idea, I’m not surprised it didn’t turn out well.

  10. Uncle Ocelot
    Uncle Ocelot
    May 17, 2017 at 5:57 pm

    He’s even started saying the games are only popular because of his books, when half of the Witcher fanbase at this point probably doesn’t even know the games are based on a series of books.

  11. Funtime Happysnacks
    Funtime Happysnacks
    May 17, 2017 at 6:07 pm

    I’m pretty sure that’s precisely what upsets him so much. Which is fair, and all, but he still became famous either way and his books have sold in numerous languages.

  12. Fenrir007
    Fenrir007
    May 17, 2017 at 7:09 pm

    Oh, I’m glad for this. Soon enough and Chaos Gods willing, my dream of a Horus Heresy Netflix Original will come true. I just have to bid my time…

  13. Scruffy, the Janitor
    Scruffy, the Janitor
    May 17, 2017 at 10:15 pm

    Uh oh. Elric fans have got to be pissed…

  14. Sean Sharpe
    Sean Sharpe
    May 17, 2017 at 10:46 pm

    So… He didn’t plagiarize anything? The only thing that the Witcher series and the Elric of Melniboné is a main protagonist that’s a morally ambiguous albino swordsman, although both are characterized rather differently and themes and tropes are radically different.

  15. Sean Sharpe
    Sean Sharpe
    May 17, 2017 at 10:47 pm

    I’d rather see Dan Abnett’s Inquisitor stories adapted than Horus Heresy.

  16. Madbrainbox
    Madbrainbox
    May 18, 2017 at 12:00 am

    Some Elric fans are salty because Witcher is more popular.Which is funny because Sapkowski is in turn salty because the games are more popular than his books.

    The whole situation is basically this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBIQm0IZ5Gc

  17. Madbrainbox
    Madbrainbox
    May 18, 2017 at 12:01 am

    Get Tom hardy to play Geralt.

  18. Ebicentre
    Ebicentre
    May 18, 2017 at 12:38 am

    Because unlike le shitty vidya gaems, TV is true art!

  19. Sean Sharpe
    Sean Sharpe
    May 18, 2017 at 1:06 am

    I wonder, if my some chance the Witcher Netflix show becomes more popular than the games if CDPR will suddenly act like the series didn’t put them on the map.

  20. Madbrainbox
    Madbrainbox
    May 18, 2017 at 1:57 am

    That’s a possibility.We’ll see in a few years.

  21. RomadE
    RomadE
    May 18, 2017 at 6:18 am

    Why aren’t any news outlets bringimg up that Itty bitty little tidbit?
    I can’t help but think about Razorfist when its plagiarism is brought up. That’s a problem; people shouldn’t think “Razorfist” (i.e. one of the few people, if not the ONLY one) when the Witcher being a work of plagiarism is brought up.

  22. Ebicentre
    Ebicentre
    May 18, 2017 at 6:41 am

    No-one brings it up because no-one actually cares outside of the small circle of people who actually know about it.

  23. kenshin95
    kenshin95
    May 18, 2017 at 6:57 am

    Fuck off with this Elric Bullshit. There are not that many similarities between the two of them besides simply having an albino swordsman and sharing a couple themes. The stories, the characters, and most of the story themes are ultimately different. The fantasy genre is built on borrowing to a certain extent. Saying the Witcher is nothing but a plagiarism of Elric is like saying that The Lord of the Rings is nothing more than a plagiarism of The Ring of the Nibelung. Sure, there’s some clear inspiration, but they are very different at the end of the day. Nothing against Elric, but come on now.

    Still, I agree with you about Sapkowski’s salt about the games, that is pretty hilarious considering its the only reason most people recognize his work outside Poland.

  24. TheOnceAndFutureKing
    TheOnceAndFutureKing
    May 18, 2017 at 8:37 am

    The game that got shit from SJWs for being racially homogeneous in a medieval Europe setting is getting its own show?

    Yeah, I can’t wait until they shoehorn in stuff like “WE WUZ KNIGHTS N SHIEET”.

  25. Bitterbear
    Bitterbear
    May 18, 2017 at 9:06 am

    Netflix? Finally the SJWs will have their dream of having The Witcher portraying canon characters with Plus-sized lesbian, club-footed, blacktinas.

  26. kenshin95
    kenshin95
    May 18, 2017 at 11:34 am

    You wanna actually make an argument rather than just linking to a razorfist video I’ve already seen?

  27. Ebicentre
    Ebicentre
    May 18, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    I link you to it because he specifically describes a woman that is identical to Yennifer. You said only Geralt is similar, which you are wrong about.

  28. MusouTensei
    MusouTensei
    May 18, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    Looking forward to a diversified abomination.

  29. Bitterbear
    Bitterbear
    May 18, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    In the end it all depends on the acting. Michael Clarke Duncan as The Kingpin was the only salvageable part in the Daredevil movie.

    I’m moist for Idris Elba, but his role as Heimdall was terrible. It’s even worse than Heath Ledger’s.

  30. Bitterbear
    Bitterbear
    May 18, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    That was Rosie from a time that people thought of her as a sweet person.

  31. kenshin95
    kenshin95
    May 18, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    Yeah, I will give you that Cymoril (or Zarozinia later on) slipped my mind and is, like Elric to Geralt, similar to Yennefer (i.e. she is a dark-haired, willful sorceress.) But still, I stand by the overall point of my first comment, which is that similarities in character design, or a couple lifted elements of plot or personality, do not plagiarism make.

    The key to the relationship between Geralt and Yennefer, for example, centers their shared relationship with Ciri for most of the Witcher series. Anything like that, as far as I am aware at least, is absent from Elric of Melnibone.

    Not to mention, Elric and Geralt, to my understanding at least, are very different characters once you get passed how they look. Just as an example, Elric is an emperor, struggling with the decadence of his people, his own sickness, and a demonic sword which plays a big role in the plot, all elements that are entirely absent from the Witcher. Granted, as Razor points out, Elric does spend much of his time as a wandering swordsman, but his rank still affects his motivation, the plot, etc.

    TL;DR: yes, there are similarities, particularly in the basic concept of Geralt and Yennefer, but Sapkowski added enough original plot, characters, and ideas to make the Witcher something unique and different from Elric.

    So he didn’t take any more from Elric than Tolkien took from The Ring of the Nibelung or many other fantasy authors have taken from the works that came before them.

  32. Ebicentre
    Ebicentre
    May 18, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    TL;DR: yes, there are similarities, particularly in the basic concept of
    Geralt and Yennefer, but Sapkowski added enough original plot,
    characters, and ideas to make the Witcher something unique and different
    from Elric.

    So did Batman, but that was still plagiarized.

  33. kenshin95
    kenshin95
    May 18, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    If you feel that lifting a few character ideas or plot elements is plagiarism, I’m not really sure what to say other than that, by that view, pretty much every major work of fantasy, science fiction, and a lot of fiction in general is plagiarized, including Elric itself, which kinda makes this entire discussion pointless.

  34. TheOnceAndFutureKing
    TheOnceAndFutureKing
    May 18, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    Im sure Idris Elba is a good actor, but to cast him as a character based on Northern Germanic folklore is as laughable as when John Wayne played Genghis Khan.

  35. TheOnceAndFutureKing
    TheOnceAndFutureKing
    May 18, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    She was, but she still didn’t look the part

  36. Funtime Happysnacks
    Funtime Happysnacks
    May 18, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    I am a huge fan of Death Note and I will never, ever acknowledge that shitty TV show or watch it.

  37. Fenrir007
    Fenrir007
    May 18, 2017 at 7:10 pm

    Anything Dan Abnett would be great, to be honest.

  38. Arenegeth
    Arenegeth
    May 18, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    Well… It probably won’t be worse than the original Polish show, or so I hope.

    And though I also hope they will leave the SJW’isms and general dumbing down to a minimum, since I think the original story, considering they remain faithful to the books, can sell by itself, especially after Game of Thrones opened the gate for that sort of show to a mainstream audience (and the popularity of the games helps of course). I’m still not convinced that Netflix executives won’t muck things up because they’re trying to reach this demographic or that demographic.

    And Sapkowski overseeing the show means as much a GRRM kinda doing it with Game of Thrones. Because when networks or studios buy a license to a book or a game, they don’t buy a license to make a series or movie out of it, they buy a license to fuck it up.

  39. Ebicentre
    Ebicentre
    May 19, 2017 at 1:30 am

    Batman was straight-up plagiarism. Elric I would like to know more, but so far, it seems to be the case as well.

  40. J_Joestar
    J_Joestar
    May 19, 2017 at 4:30 am

    isn’t he just salty because he didn’t think the games would catch on and just took a lump sum payment for the rights rather than royalties?

  41. kenshin95
    kenshin95
    May 19, 2017 at 8:18 am

    I can’t speak to Batman specifically, cause I’m not familiar enough with the actual batman comics, and I know next to nothing about The Shadow, the work people say it ripped off.

    I have read the Witcher books though, and I looked into the plot and characters of Elric when the whole plagiarism controversy came up, and personally I couldn’t find that much between the two other than some character outlines for Geralt and Yennefer, and a fondness for subverting fantasy tropes. My opinion, at least from what I know. But I do need to actually read through the elric books/comics to say for sure.

    But hey, if you want to know more, why not check out Elric and the Witcher books, if you’re into that sort of thing? Elric seems interesting, and the Witcher books are good, the English fan translations are solid. Then you won’t have to rely on what Razorfist or some random guy online has to say about it.

  42. Bitterbear
    Bitterbear
    May 19, 2017 at 10:48 am

    You should see the mental gymnastics SJWs go through to justify black L. My favourites are It’s a retelling so it’s alright and It’s too Japanese. It has to be localized for an American audience.

    Also, gotta love how the Asian-Americans who wrote outrage at the live-action Ghost in the Shell movie are silent about the Netflix adaptation.

  43. Funtime Happysnacks
    Funtime Happysnacks
    May 19, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    The stupidest part is, L was already ethnically diverse. According to the creator:

    [ When asked about L’s ethnicity, creator of the series Tsugumi Ohba
    responded, “I think of him as a quarter Japanese, a quarter English, a
    quarter Russian, a quarter French or Italian, like that.” ]

    They literally blackwashed him.

  44. Ebicentre
    Ebicentre
    May 19, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    I actually already own two of the Witcher games, and I plan on reading Elric in the future.

  45. Bitterbear
    Bitterbear
    May 19, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    Pshaw. You know the usual suspects will only say They’re all white people.

  46. Robert Harden
    Robert Harden
    August 9, 2017 at 2:29 am

    Ya let’s just forget that both series plots revolve around multiverses.
    The Conjunction of the Million Spheres of Moorecock in 1981 vs The Conjunction of the Spheres in Witcher. Both central to the plot.

    No plagarism here.

  47. Robert Harden
    Robert Harden
    August 9, 2017 at 2:31 am

    Ya let’s just forget that both series plots revolve around multiverses.
    The Conjunction of the Million Spheres of Moorecock in 1981 vs The Conjunction of the Spheres in Witcher. Both central to the plot.

  48. Sean Sharpe
    Sean Sharpe
    August 9, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    Moorcock was hardly the originator of the concept of multiverses in fiction. While he arguably defined how they existed in the realm of fantasy fiction it was something that DC Comics was playing with since the 60’s.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not huge into Sapkowski. His stories are enjoyable enough but he “plagiarizes” Tolkien just as much as he does Moorcock… As does most other fantasy ever made. It’s criminal Moorcock doesn’t really get the credit he deserves as one of the masters of the genre but it’s silly to say he was plagiarized.

  49. Robert Harden
    Robert Harden
    August 10, 2017 at 4:18 am

    Oh, stop with the goal post shifting. No one claimed Moorecock created the multiverse idea.
    The Witcher series literally stole a plot point from the Elric series down to the fucking name.
    It’s literally almost the same thing.
    But no, you would rather deflect by bringing up Tolkien.