Adapting a literary work to live-action comes with risks. Changes must be made and that means risking the ire of dedicated readers. The ever-growing fanbase of Andrzej Sapkowski's The Witcher is no less enthusiastic and vocal than that of any other classic fantasy saga, but the creators of the upcoming Netflix adaptation are prepared.
The upcoming series will feature certain changes to the story and some of its characters, some of which fans have already noted, such as Geralt of Rivia's apparent presence during the Battle of Cintra. However, in a recent interview with Polish site, Antyweb (translated by Redanian Intelligence), executive producer Tomek Bagiński assured readers that the changes were not without reason and that they have support from the right people.
"Andrzej Sapkowski knows that some things are different than he wrote," Bagiński stated, "But he trusts that it's being worked on by professionals and that what will come of it will be very good." The EP then suggested that changes from the source material were inevitable when the story is conveyed through a completely different medium, "Scenes that I had some doubts about in script form shine incredibly on the screen, thanks to the interpretation of the actors and things which you just don't see on paper."
Without giving away any details, Bagiński then described the root cause of many of the changes audiences can expect to see, "Some of the storylines can be presented in many different ways," he began, "In the show, you need to give the characters backstories that will interest the viewers. The show can't be exactly like the books. It's an adaptation," going on to clarify that what viewers will see on Netflix will be The Witcher as seen by showrunner Lauren S. Hissrich and the writing team.
The executive producer anticipated the kind of questions novel readers might ask after the show premieres, "After the first episode, many viewers will think 'that didn’t happen in the books' or 'that’s not how this scene went'. They will ask 'why was it done this way?'" Bagiński then assured, "I suggest watching until the end, then it will be obvious that everything fits The Witcher's tone very well."
The Witcher stars Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia, Anya Chalotra as Yennefer of Vengerberg, Freya Allan as Ciri and Joey Batey as Jaskier. The series will be available to stream on Netflix starting December 20.