Fantasy Smash ‘The Witcher’ Will Soon Cast a Spell at the Movies
In 1986, a writer by the name of Andrzej Sapkowski published a short story titled “The Witcher” in the sci-fi literary magazine Fantastyka. That piece led to what would end up being fourteen more pieces in the rapidly expanding universe of The Witcher, which led to a book compiling them all, which led to more books, which led a series of comic books, which led to a TV offshoot, which led to a film offshoot of the TV offshoot, which led to a series of highly successful video games, which presumably led to Mr. Sapkowski enjoying a Mai Tai while floating in his pool on his estate in sunny, paradisiacal Poland.
All of this is to say that The Witcher franchise has proven its staying power time and again, most recently with the robust sales and cultural impact of this past May’s Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt video game release. Hollywood has seen the signs, and is now responding with a feature-length film set in the Witcher universe, to be released in 2017. A report from Screen Rant indicates that the film will not be based on the video games, but “the themes” of Sapkowski’s original stories. The Sean Daniel Company, currently aiding Alex Kurtzman with his Universal Monsters extended universe, will handle production on the film. If Hollywood’s doing this, they’re gonna do it up right.
The titular figure is Geralt of Rivia, a sort-of-knight who also sort-of-has magic powers and uses both sets of skills in his pursuit to rid the landmass simply called The Continent of supernatural monsters. He’s a Witcher, one of a specially-elite cadre of defenders imbued with both superhuman abilities and body modification to aid them in the unending fight against evil. The Witcher franchise already has a dedicated cult following, but it will take a little bit of magic from the Sean Daniel Company to wipe the public palate clean of the bad taste left by the extremely-similar-sounding Vin Diesel fantasy vehicle The Last Witch Hunter.