Just as showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich predicted, casting scripts have leaked for the upcoming Netflix adaptation of The Witcher, and while most fans who have followed development seem excited, others are unhappy, to say the least. What many don't seem to realize is, as Hissrich stated several times, that dialogue was written specially for auditions and with the expectation the scripts would leak. In short, it's not an accurate reflection of the characters or the world as it will be depicted on the series.
The Witcher follows Geralt of Rivia, a mystically and genetically altered monster hunter who is almost always either trying to separate lesser from greater evils or finding himself caught in the middle of devious schemes concocted by the wealthy and powerful.
Posted on Reddit, the leaked script excerpts, or "sides," consist of two vaguely defined scenes that feature the sorceress Yennefer and only one with Geralt. The first consists of somewhat-lighthearted dialogue between Yen and Geralt while the two prepare themselves for a ball, which fans will know is on the list of Geralt's least-favorite things, right after the doublets he usually has to wear to them.
The scene also brings to light a couple of aspects fans may find interesting: the first is the mention of bruxae and basilisks, and the second is Yennefer's description of Geralt, which indicates that, unlike the witcher with the ugly smile in the novels, the show's version may be more akin to the video game incarnation, who's depicted as being, as the script's Yennefer states, "ridiculously attractive."
The second scene is brief and very clearly focuses on Yennefer, with a monologue about her distaste for an unspecified king. Some fans have taken issue with this scene, complaining about modern language and attitudes they feel are foreign to the character.
Addressing fans on Twitter, Hissrich offered a brief reminder that the writers of The Witcher were prepared, and that there was no need for worry as "all is okay in the Witcher world."
Remember when I said that casting sides would leak and not to worry because they are not real scenes or scenarios or even storylines from the show?— Lauren S. Hissrich (@LHissrich) August 15, 2018
It happened. As we knew it would. Don’t worry. All is okay in the #Witcher world.
That hasn't stopped some fans from engaging in heated online debate about how Geralt and Yennefer are written in the sides. While some expressed satisfaction, many more felt the dialogue is out of character -- with some going so far as to describe it as reading like poorly written fan fiction.
That criticism wasn't lost on the showrunner, who said she is fascinated by the divided reactions. "I only hope Witcher fans are as invested in the, you know, actual series," she wrote.
It's fascinating to watch the PASSIONATE debate about Geralt's and Yen's thoughts/emotions/intentions on the casting sides. Everything from "this reads like canon" to "Geralt would NEVER say that word." I only hope #Witcher fans are as invested in the, you know, actual series.😊— Lauren S. Hissrich (@LHissrich) August 16, 2018
No casting announcements have been made. However, attention has been brought to some of the story's characters, such as Vesemir (the witcher who trained Geralt of Rivia), after Mark Hamill was sent a Photoshopped image and expressed interest in playing the role, despite not knowing who he is. More recently, Henry Cavill, who was already a fan of the video game adaptation, expressed interest in playing Geralt, which has sparked a multitude of Photoshopped images.
The Witcher will be based on the fantasy novel series written by Andrzej Sapkowski, who is acting as a consultant for the Netflix adaptation. Hissrich has been open about the progress of the series, and has stated it will remain as faithful to the novels as possible.