Some writers on Netflix’s Witcher show “actively disliked” the books and games

The Witcher season 2. Image courtesy Jay Maidment, Netflix
The Witcher season 2. Image courtesy Jay Maidment, Netflix /

The Witcher is getting a new lease on life thanks to the Netflix series starring Henry Cavill, but the franchise has been around for while. It started with a series of short stories by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, progressed to full books, and finally became a series of very successful video games from CD Projekt Red. The Witcher was beloved by many fans before Henry Cavill donned his bleached blonde fantasy wig.

But apparently, not everyone who wrote for the Netflix show was among them. This comes from writer Beau DeMayo, who’s written a couple episodes of The Witcher and also put together the writer’s room for the upcoming X-Men ’97 show on Disney+. “My general rule was you HAD to be a fan,” he said during an Instagram Q&A session. “No questions.”

"I’ve been on show – namely Witcher – where some of the writers were not or actively disliked the books and games, even actively mocking the source material. It’s a recipe for disaster and bad morale. Fandom as a litmus test checks egos, and makes all the long nights worth it. You have to respect the work before you’re allowed to add to its legacy."

The Witcher showrunner wanted a diversity of opinion in the writer’s room

Previously, The Witcher showrunner Lauren S. Hissrich said in a Twitter thread that she “specifically didn’t seek out ten Sapkowski scholars” when putting together the show’s writer’s room. Some of them were diehard fans and all of them had to read the books, but not all of them came in that way. “We need writers who are close, but not too close,” she wrote. “Who love the world, but aren’t afraid to question it. Who are fans, but are willing to step back and open their minds, in order to bring their beloved world to our real (big) one. I hope we did that.”

I think that’s a good strategy when putting together’s a writer’s room; I get why you don’t only want franchise superfans, although you want them in there too. Henry Cavill may not be a writer, for instance, but he is a big Witcher fan, and his opinion matters; I’m reminded of a story when he changed a scene involving Geralt’s horse Roach because he didn’t think the script was respectful enough. Then again, you don’t want to go so far afield that you get people who don’t like or disrespect the source material. It’s a tricky balance.

The Witcher TV show has gone pretty far afield of the books and games in some respects, so I’m sure there are fans who aren’t surprised to hear this from DeMayo. Still, the show has been a big success. Netflix has a spinoff series called Blood Origin coming out in December and a third season on the way next year.

Next. Author Olivie Blake tells us about The Atlas Paradox and The Atlas Six TV show. dark

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