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Will The Witcher Become Netflix’s Answer to Game of Thrones?

The first teaser for Henry Cavill's series premieres at SDCC.
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Now that Game of Thrones watch has ended (save for countless spin-offs in the works), networks and streaming services are looking to fill the void left by the global phenomenon. Making a major play in the big budget fantasy genre is Netflix’s The Witcher, which premiered its first teaser at San Diego Comic Con. The series stars erstwhile Superman Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia, “a mutated monster hunter who struggles to find his place in a world where people often prove more wicked than beasts.”

The Witcher is based on the fantasy novels by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, which were then turned into a series of video games by CD Projekt Red. Cavill was already a fan of the games when he was approached to join the series, saying “I’m a big gamer. I’ve played the games a lot … There was something about Gerald that struck a chord with me. He’s not your average hero. He’s a hard exterior, real-world type person and at the same time, deep down, he’s a real hero.”

The trailer introduces viewers to The Continent, and the different races at war within it, which includes elves, humans, and monsters. Cavill says in voice-over, “When humans and monsters arrived, elves taught humans how to cut chaos into magic … And then, the humans slaughtered them.”

The trailer also introduces us to Yennefer (Wanderlust‘s Anya Chalotra) a powerful sorceress and Geralt’s lover, and Ciri (Into the Badlands‘ Freya Allan), their surrogate daughter and Witcher-in-training. We also get glimpses of different tribes and factions within the world, epic battle scenes, and Geralt taking on a giant spider.

What sets The Witcher apart from Game of Thrones is the addition of female showrunner Lauren S. Hissrich, who has previously worked on Daredevil, The Defenders, and The Umbrella Academy. Like GOT, The Witcher is stacked with strong female characters, and it will be exciting to see how these women are developed with a female showrunner at the helm.

Hissrich said of the series, “What’s great about The Witcher is that it’s so much more than a fantasy … Really it’s a story about a family. I would call it an addition to the books. We honor the books but we got to give the characters a little more breathing room.”

She elaborated, saying “When Netflix reached out I read the short stories again and started thinking about what could I bring to this. These three characters — Geralt, Yennefer, and Ciri — really rose to the surface. If you take all the other fantasy elements away, you take the magic and story and violence and sex away, you still have three characters who are this broken disjointed family who really need each other even though they don’t want to admit it. And that was one of the most appealing things to me.”

What did you think of The Witcher teaser?

(via The Hollywood Reporter, image: Netflix)

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Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.