Andrzej Sapkowski Reflects on Netflix’s Interpretation of ‘The Witcher’

Witcher Image

Renowned author Andrzej Sapkowski, the mastermind behind ‘The Witcher‘ novels, recently shared his insights on the adaptations of his work, including CD Projekt Red’s video game series and Netflix’s TV adaptation. 

While his books have inspired a media franchise, Sapkowski revealed that Netflix seldom considered his feedback during the series’ production.

Sapkowski’s Experience at Vienna Comic Con

During Vienna Comic Con, Sapkowski engaged in a revealing discussion with Cerealkillers about the visual adaptations of his beloved series. 

The author emphasized the unique challenge of seeing his literary work, originally crafted through words alone, transformed into visual media.

The Transition from Words to Visuals

Sapkowski explained his process: “My raw material when I work, it’s only letters. I do not describe pictures. I don’t see any pictures. I use the letters only because I know that my reader will see in the book the letters only, not the pictures. So I have to do with my letters to make the reader imagine the picture, not the other way around.” He admitted finding every visual adaptation “strange” due to this fundamental difference in medium.

Reaction to Different Interpretations

When encountering others’ interpretations of ‘The Witcher,’ Sapkowski often reacts with curiosity, noting, “oh, this is the way they picture it. Interesting.” 

His responses vary from sympathetic appreciation to less favorable views, although he refrained from elaborating further on the latter.

Netflix’s Adaptation and Sapkowski’s Involvement

Turning to Netflix’s specific adaptation, Sapkowski recalled his visit to the show’s set, praising its scale but highlighting a disconnect between his suggestions and the production team’s direction. “Maybe, I gave them some ideas, but they never listened to me,” he remarked, later humorously imitating a Netflix executive dismissing the importance of a writer’s input.

Henry Cavill’s Departure and Its Implications

This revelation gains further weight considering Henry Cavill’s recent departure from the Netflix series. Cavill, known for his commitment to aligning his portrayal of Geralt with the book’s depiction, left the show after three seasons.

Freya Allan, who plays Ciri, once described him as a veritable ‘Witcher bible,’ highlighting his dedication to the source material.

The Future of ‘The Witcher’ on Screen and in Literature

As Netflix prepares for the fourth season with Liam Hemsworth stepping into Geralt’s shoes, Sapkowski continues his literary journey. The author is currently working on the next installment of the Witcher book series, expected to hit the shelves next winter.

Sapkowski’s Ongoing Legacy

While Sapkowski’s experience with the Netflix adaptation presents a mix of appreciation and reservation, his influence on the Witcher universe remains undeniable. Fans of his novels can look forward to more immersive storytelling in his upcoming book, while the television adaptation continues to bring his rich world to a broader audience.

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