Highly anticipated: Netflix stole the show at San Diego Comic-Con on Friday with the first trailer for The Witcher series, debuting “later this year” with eight episodes. The brief yet action-full trailer maintains the strong aesthetic fans of the games desire but burning questions about the story remain. How will it build upon the lore of the game and books? Will Henry Cavill (Geralt) have a mustache? Where is Gwent?
Netflix has not been forthcoming with information, yet we already know so much about the world of The Witcher from Andrzej Sapkowski’s book series (which the show is based on) and CD Projekt Red’s trilogy of games. The show will be heavily influenced by existing material, but it will deviate in a few key ways. For example, during an interview with IGN, Ciri is described as having a “sheltered upbringing” and that’s not exactly how I’d describe her in The Witcher 3.
“It’s about just going all in and making what you think it is, and it’s not necessarily conforming to what every single person says on the internet,” Henry Cavill said in San Diego. “It’s different for everyone. You just provide your insight into the character and who you think they are, and you go from there.”
Cavill, most famous for his role as Superman, is taking up the mantel of Geralt of Rivia. To the relief of many existing fans, Cavill is a dedicated The Witcher gamer himself.
“It would be like playing another run of The Witcher 3 but with a completely different skin on and that I think would be interesting, because I’ve played it through a number of times now and it’s ‘okay cool, I’ve done it, I’ve seen it’ and I still get that same enjoyment out of playing it through. But what if I could play it slightly differently? Then yeah, this is kind of what it is for me when you’re doing the show. Yes, it’s Geralt of Rivia the witcher, but he looks like me now.”
Despite earlier concerns about Cavill’s appearance in his flowing silver wig, he looks damn good. But as some fans have highlighted with some pointy questions, almost every frame in the trailer looks like it could have been an outtake from a certain, popular high-fantasy TV series that recently ended. Dedicated fans of the games will no doubt watch the show, but Netflix had better be wary of fantasy fatigue.