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While changing the race of a character from the source material to a new adaptation is nothing new – Netflix is reportedly looking to cast a character in their upcoming TV series based on The Witcher as something other than the source.
A new ad listing is looking for a “16 or 15 year old BAME (black, Asian, minority ethnic) girl who can play down to 13/14” to play Ciri, a female character described as racially white in the original Witcher novels. The listing also mentions the applicant must be under 18 years of age.
Here’s a quick blurb on what the casting agency says of the character:
CIRI can often be found rough-housing with the Palace hands instead of sitting in finery at the knee of the QUEEN CALANTHE, her grandmother. That is, until Cintra is massacred by the Nilfgaardians and CIRI is orphaned, left to traverse THE CONTINENT, alone. She doesn’t know it yet, but she’s a direct descendent of LARA DORREN, an Elven Mage – which is why everyone in our series is after her. We follow CIRI as she evades her captors, and in the meantime, discovers her magical talents, her dark side, and the role she is to play in the coming apocalypse. We are looking for an extraordinary young talent to lead this series. She should be brave hearted and MUST have something truly special about her.
Fans of the franchise have been wary of this TV adaptation, with concerns that modern politics are being injected into a fantasy world (which is based on Poland) where predominantly white people fight fictional monsters – the writing staff politicizing their role on the project hasn’t helped either.
Recently, the production found Henry Cavill as their lead to play the series protagonist Geralt of Rivia – you can read more about that here. Filming is reportedly going to kick off sometime next month, presumably once casting is complete.
What do you think about this casting? Is it ok to change the source material for a new adaptation? Sound off in the comments below!