Home Entertainment Netflix’s The Witcher is “taking the fantasy out” and focusing more on horror

Netflix’s The Witcher is “taking the fantasy out” and focusing more on horror

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Swords, sorcery and possibly a mythological beast or two: The Witcher is definitely a fantasy series. Here’s the catch though with Netflix’s upcoming adaptation of the beloved property: Their take on Geralt on Rivia isn’t based on CD Projekt Red’s massively successful game trilogy, but rather the original source material from author Andrzej Sapkowski.

If you’ve read the books, you’d be well aware of just how grim they are, as that series paints a darker and more dangerous picture of life in a land where monsters are real and people are even worse. It’s a theme that the Netflix series wants to focus on, shining less light on the fantasy aspect of The Witcher and doubling down on the horror instead. “I definitely think it leans more towards horror,” visual effects supervisor Julian Parry said to SFX Magazine via GamesRadar.

We’re definitely taking the fantasy out. I can honestly say we’re not fantastical. I mean, it’s fantastical but in a grounded horror sense. For example, with Striga [a woman cursed to live as a monster], that’s one gnarly-looking thing. That’s very unpleasant!

That decision to stick to the shadows and create nightmare fuel monsters also boils down to pure logistics for the debut eight-episode season:

We’ve got the Nilfgaard armies, which can’t exist because there are 10,000-plus of them. Same with the Temerians and the Cintrans. the armies physically can’t exist here on set.

It’s a decision that I can dig! The Witcher so far looks visually distinct from other fantasy shows, a dark and moody exploration of a kingdom under siege by various forces while Geralt finds himself caught in the middle of it all. It’ll be out on Netflix on December 20, with a longterm gameplan to craft a story over multiple seasons if things go according to plan according to showrunner Lauren S. Hissrich’s grand vision for the series:

Second season? I’ve done it for seven seasons!” We don’t have a second season yet – God willing we will – but right now it’s just about, ‘How do you set up stories that really capture audiences for years at a time?’ The worst thing we could do is put all of our energies just into season one, and not be thinking about where these characters can grow to.

Man, that’s going to be a lot of bathtub scenes to film.

Last Updated: November 6, 2019

67 Comments

  1. Laaaame. As a horror fan, this is sort of cool. As a fantasy fan – booooo!

    EDIT – still will give this a watch though. See if it’s better than the adult live action parody.

    Reply

  2. Admiral Chief

    November 7, 2019 at 05:46

    Is this the real life?

    Reply

  3. BradeLunner

    November 7, 2019 at 05:48

    Horror works really well when the monsters/creatures/misunderstoods are shroweded in shadow (how’s that alliteration) and left to the imagination, like in Alien. Budget constraints is also great for creativity!

    Reply

  4. Forc3ofWill

    November 7, 2019 at 05:53

    First of all – semantics. Second of all, as a guy from Poland who read the books unspeakable amount of time ago (a.k.a. ‘in high-school’), and then re-read them multiple times, I can tell you that Witcher was always – semantics alert – a ‘dark-fantasy’. Before I knew the term I described The Witcher books as ‘equal parts folksy and dark’. Kinda like Poland in the ’90s 🙂

    What’s compelling about fantasy is that it can put characters in settings other genres cant. If you call it ‘dark fantasy’ or ‘more horror than fantasy’ it still does the job.

    Now, the TV show doesn’t look anything like I imagined when I’ve read the books, and they seem to heavily favor darkness over levity (there was a good amount of former in the books but also a fair bit of the latter). That being said, the vision seems coherent and based on what I’ve seen so far I’m optimistic.

    Reply

  5. Tbone187

    November 7, 2019 at 05:59

    Just worried bout Henry Cavill tho. He’s not a good actor imo.He made Superman the most boring superhero to date.Almost as bad as that Flash guy from the series.

    Reply

  6. Kromas

    November 6, 2019 at 15:59

    Sigh.

    Reply

  7. Original Heretic

    November 6, 2019 at 15:59

    So…a fantasy series with less fantasy elements.
    Ugh. My interest wanes…

    Reply

  8. Jacques Van Zyl

    November 6, 2019 at 16:00

    Laaaame. As a horror fan, this is sort of cool. As a fantasy fan – booooo!

    EDIT – still will give this a watch though. See if it’s better than the adult live action parody.

    Reply

    • InCognito

      November 7, 2019 at 05:52

      Its not really that they are taking the fantasy out, I mean every monster is not real? making it fantasy lol. I think its more that they are focusing on the horror more than fantasy. The books are a lot darker than the game

      Reply

      • Pariah

        November 7, 2019 at 05:53

        Finally someone who actually listened/read. Yeah it’s a fantasy/horror, leaning towards the aspects of horror. It’s not suddenly becoming Jeepers Creepers 4. XD

        Reply

      • Jacques Van Zyl

        November 7, 2019 at 09:52

        Shhh, don’t come here speaking sense and truth.

        This and Pokemon are the only two things I have to be mad about this week damnit. XD

        Reply

      • Pariah

        November 7, 2019 at 05:53

        Finally someone who actually listened/read. Yeah it’s a fantasy/horror, leaning towards the aspects of horror. It’s not suddenly becoming Jeepers Creepers 4. XD

        Reply

      • Jacques Van Zyl

        November 7, 2019 at 09:52

        Shhh, don’t come here speaking sense and truth.

        This and Pokemon are the only two things I have to be mad about this week damnit. XD

        Reply

        • Pariah

          November 7, 2019 at 11:54

          Spend 10 minutes on Twitter. Go on. I dare you.

          Reply

        • Pariah

          November 7, 2019 at 11:54

          Spend 10 minutes on Twitter. Go on. I dare you.

          Reply

          • Jacques Van Zyl

            November 8, 2019 at 02:23

            Twitter is a great echo chamber, I get nothing but cosplay, Darrangedd blunders and good art on my feed. XD

          • Jacques Van Zyl

            November 8, 2019 at 02:23

            Twitter is a great echo chamber, I get nothing but cosplay, Darrangedd blunders and good art on my feed. XD

          • Jacques Van Zyl

            November 8, 2019 at 02:23

            Twitter is a great echo chamber, I get nothing but cosplay, Darrangedd blunders and good art on my feed. XD

          • Admiral Chief

            November 8, 2019 at 06:26

            “cosplay” you say

  9. Geoffrey Tim

    November 6, 2019 at 16:00

    Nah, I’m down with this. Sure, Witcher is fantasy, but it’s more grounded than a lot of fantasy series, so them going for more of a horror/drama vibe with the creatures is a good one, I reckon.

    Reply

    • Gustav Willem Diedericks

      November 7, 2019 at 05:50

      Agreed. If they stick to the source I’ll be happy as a COD camper with a high kill score.

      Reply

    • Gustav Willem Diedericks

      November 7, 2019 at 05:50

      Agreed. If they stick to the source I’ll be happy as a COD camper with a high kill score.

      Reply

  10. Yozzie

    November 6, 2019 at 16:01

    • Raptor Rants

      November 6, 2019 at 21:16

      Yeah, Geralt with no fingers is real horror

      Reply

  11. G8crasha

    November 6, 2019 at 16:01

    I haven’t read the books, but I can easily see from the games that there is a strong leaning to the horror side of things in the source material!

    Reply

  12. Admiral Chief

    November 7, 2019 at 05:46

    Is this the real life?

    Reply

    • Gustav Willem Diedericks

      November 7, 2019 at 05:50

      Or is it not Fantasy?

      Reply

    • Gustav Willem Diedericks

      November 7, 2019 at 05:50

      Or is it not Fantasy?

      Reply

      • Pariah

        November 7, 2019 at 19:28

        See his pic posted. It was a setup.

        Reply

        • Admiral Chief

          November 8, 2019 at 02:22

          Jebaited

          Reply

        • Gustav Willem Diedericks

          November 7, 2019 at 21:14

          Damn! Where is the pic? I can’t see it!

          Wait: the fanta one in another post?

          Reply

          • Pariah

            November 8, 2019 at 02:23

            Yep. It’s Fanta, see?

          • Pariah

            November 8, 2019 at 02:23

            Yep. It’s Fanta, see?

          • Pariah

            November 8, 2019 at 02:23

            Yep. It’s Fanta, see?

          • Gustav Willem Diedericks

            November 8, 2019 at 05:21

            lol!

        • Admiral Chief

          November 8, 2019 at 02:22

          Jebaited

          Reply

          • Pariah

            November 8, 2019 at 08:18

            KEKW

          • Admiral Chief

            November 8, 2019 at 16:50

            Net so

          • Admiral Chief

            November 8, 2019 at 16:50

            Net so

  13. Admiral Chief

    November 7, 2019 at 05:46

    • Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

      November 7, 2019 at 06:16

      ??

      Reply

    • Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

      November 7, 2019 at 06:16

      ??

      Reply

  14. BradeLunner

    November 7, 2019 at 05:48

    Horror works really well when the monsters/creatures/misunderstoods are shroweded in shadow (how’s that alliteration) and left to the imagination, like in Alien. Budget constraints is also great for creativity!

    Reply

  15. Forc3ofWill

    November 7, 2019 at 05:53

    First of all – semantics. Second of all, as a guy from Poland who read the books unspeakable amount of time ago (a.k.a. ‘in high-school’), and then re-read them multiple times, I can tell you that Witcher was always – semantics alert – a ‘dark-fantasy’. Before I knew the term I described The Witcher books as ‘equal parts folksy and dark’. Kinda like Poland in the ’90s 🙂

    What’s compelling about fantasy is that it can put characters in settings other genres cant. If you call it ‘dark fantasy’ or ‘more horror than fantasy’ it still does the job.

    Now, the TV show doesn’t look anything like I imagined when I’ve read the books, and they seem to heavily favor darkness over levity (there was a good amount of former in the books but also a fair bit of the latter). That being said, the vision seems coherent and based on what I’ve seen so far I’m optimistic.

    Reply

    • Admiral Chief

      November 7, 2019 at 12:20

      +1

      Reply

  16. Tbone187

    November 7, 2019 at 05:59

    Just worried bout Henry Cavill tho. He’s not a good actor imo.He made Superman the most boring superhero to date.Almost as bad as that Flash guy from the series.

    Reply

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