Last week, Netflix held its See What's Next event in Rome where the streaming giant revealed just a couple of new projects and provided updates on existing ones such as the highly anticipated series, The Witcher, based on Andrzej Sapkowsi's novels.
The Witcher follows Geralt of Rivia, a monster hunter who is constantly dragged into the complex lives of the morally ambiguous people that surround him, both desperate peasants and struggling figures of authority. Sapkowski's novels offer readers a world of magic and monsters, making it a point to show that real, evil monsters don't necessarily have to look the part. In fact, they often hide in the skin of the average human being.
Just before the weekend, writer and executive producer, Lauren S. Hissrich, tweeted a summary of those announcements. According to Hissrich, the show will not be premiering before 2020. While that may come as a bit of somewhat disappointing news to eager fans of both the novels and the video games, Hissrich assured her followers and fans that it will arrive as soon as humanly possible and to remember that "quality comes before speed."
2020. Who knows?! We're moving quickly ahead with everything -- like, my head is spinning around Exorcist-style, except with enthusiasm, not evil possession -- but one thing is certain: quality comes before speed. You'll get it as soon as humanly possible, and it'll be good.— Lauren S. Hissrich (@LHissrich) April 20, 2018
Hissrich also confirmed that there will only be eight episodes in the first season of The Witcher, however, aside from the pilot script, which is still being polished, none of the episodes have been written. The reason the season is so short, according to the writer, is so the episodes can be rich with character and story without suffering from a middle that drags.
EIGHT EPISODES. Yes! I know, I know, it may not seem like enough for you, but creatively, it's the right call. The episodes can be tight, action-packed, rich in character and story, without lagging in the middle of the season. Sounds good to me, sound good to you?— Lauren S. Hissrich (@LHissrich) April 20, 2018
Finally, Hissrich confirmed that shooting for The Witcher will take place entirely in Eastern Europe. This will come as good news for fans who can see that Poland and Eastern Europe inspired much of Sapkowski's world -- not just the landscape and locations but the mythology and characters. It's why Hissrich -- who just returned from a trip to Poland where she met with Sapkowski -- stated that the show, "couldn't exist anyplace else. Period."
WE'LL BE SHOOTING IN EASTERN EUROPE. Yes! This show couldn't exist anyplace else. Period. Also, I just spent ten days surrounded by Slavic eye-candy. I MUST come back, soon.— Lauren S. Hissrich (@LHissrich) April 20, 2018
News about Netflix's event has been circulating the Internet for the past couple of days and several sources have provided minor details about Erik Barmack's (Netflix VP of Global Content) announcements concerning The Witcher. According to one Reddit thread which summarized Barmack's statements, the crew will begin searching for suitable locations for filming in 2018 and start contracting actors.
News surrounding the upcoming Netflix series has been scarce, despite Hissrich being as open with fans as possible through Twitter. The showrunner has made it a point to show fans that she intends on being as faithful to the source material as possible. So while this may not be great news for fans who hoped to see the show as soon as other similar shows have come to an end, they can at least rest assured that it's because everyone involved is taking the show seriously.