As the fantasy genre continues to grow and expand, other networks and streaming services have scrambled to create their own offering to rival the fantasy epic. Other contenders like Amazon’s Lord of the Rings and Conan are expected to be major upcoming television events, but Netflix could have the upper hand after purchasing the rights to Andrzej Sapkowski’s popular The Witcher series. The high-budget fantasy offering is expected to drop towards the end of 2019 and has the potential to be the biggest thing Netflix has ever produced.
The Witcher is already one step of other similar series as it no longer considered to be a risky prospect, due to how popular other franchises have been. There is an ever-growing demand for fantasy, dragons and war and The Witcher will fit seamlessly into this. This popularity is further evidenced over at Videoslots, where their fantasy-based slots are among the most popular iGaming titles available, and the Telltale Games offering of the same name has done well in the console market. In comparison, The Witcher already has a trilogy of games developed by CD Projekt Red. The open world offerings have been some of the most successful games of all time, and there is a huge fan base eagerly anticipating seeing their favourite characters being portrayed on screen.
Sapkowski’s books are not quite as well-known as J.R.R Tolkien’s for example, but they do have a cult following and the series from Netflix is likely to draw more attention to them. The saga spans two collections of short stories and five novels, which mostly focus on hero Geralt of Rivia and his relationship with the "child of destiny", Ciri. The Witcher is heavily focused on magical and mystical themes. Whilst it also features all manner of monsters and mythical creatures from dragons to basilisks.
Henry Cavill will star as Geralt, while there are a number of lesser known actors assigned to some of the other major roles. Getting one of the world’s most well-known current actors is certainly a huge win for the series and will help to draw in a further audience. Much like how other shows have included big name stars from the get-go, this should help ensure The Witcher is in the limelight from day one. Conversely, the show will also introduce some lesser known stars to the forefront, with the likes of Freya Allen and Anya Chalotra landing starring roles, who will play Ciri and Yennefer of Vengerberg respectively.
With the epic scale of The Witcher saga, there is certainly the potential for the Netflix series to be huge. But it will require a staggeringly high budget in order to bring all the magic and monsters to the screen effectively. If Netflix can do this and stay true to the source material in terms of writing, The Witcher has the potential to be the biggest shows of 2019.