How “The Witcher” Became Netflix’s New Hit
Published on January 8, 2020
Netflix has recently unveiled its live-action adaptation of “The Witcher,” and it is trending worldwide. Based on the popular book series, the show stars Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia. When it comes to the show, its stars worked hard to get things just right.
Destined for the Role
Getting the role of Geralt was on Cavill’s radar for a long time. Before landing the role, the actor read the books and played the video games. “I discovered the games, then I discovered the books, and the universe of ‘The Witcher’ instantly meant something to me. I often thought about playing Geralt. When the opportunity appeared, I didn’t let the chance pass me,” Cavill told French magazine Premiere. “I didn’t even have the need to prepare myself for the role. Because I breathe, I live this universe every day. I already got numerous opportunities to think about this character while I was playing the games.”
Cavill feels the same way with possibly reprising the role of Superman down the line. “There’s a lot I have to give for Superman yet. A lot of storytelling to do. A lot of real, true depths to the honesty of the character I want to get into. I want to reflect the comic books. That’s important to me,” he told Men’s Health.
Having this kind of mentality when portraying an established fictional character always means good things. The performer in question will go above and beyond to perfectly nail the role. As for fans, they want to see a perfectly-executed portrayal on-screen.
Some Necessary Backup
Netflix couldn’t deliver “The Witcher” without some important characters in the mix. Portrayed by Anya Chalotra, Yennefer of Vengerberg is Geralt’s love interest in the series. One key element about Yennefer’s character is her transformation into a sorceress. For Chalotra, this meant having to wear a mouthguard during her time as a quarter-elf. “The mouthguard was difficult because I would get ulcers and I would have to speak using very hard material. But other than the pains of wearing it, it really did help. It changed my physicality. I looked at the floor more, and I became more insecure as a result. That only ever helped the place Yennefer was at in her life anyway,” the actress told Decider.
Princess Cirilla, who is portrayed by Freya Allan, is the heiress to the throne of Cintra. For Allan, “The Witcher” is her first taste of stardom. “I read ‘The Blood of Elves,’ but that was mainly out of just pure excitement,” Allan also told Decider in the same interview. “But for me, I didn’t want to over-prepare because I felt like I already had such a kind of natural parallel with the character. I didn’t want to ruin that by overthinking things.”
The Witcher’s Strong Debut
Weeks before the premiere, Netflix renewed “The Witcher” for a second season. “I’m so thrilled that before fans have even seen our first season, we are able to confirm that we’ll be returning to the Continent again to continue telling the stories of Geralt, Yennefer, and Ciri,” stated showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich in a press release. Season two will begin shooting early next year. New episodes will debut in 2021. Much like the first season, this season will have eight episodes. Schmidt Hissrich, who also worked on Netflix’s “The Umbrella Academy,” will return.
The first season of the show has been met with universal acclaim. Netflix revealed the series was their second-biggest show in 2019. Data company Parrot Analytics announced it knocked off “The Mandalorian” as the most-streamed show in the world. Aside from streaming numbers, Parrot Analytics added online engagement for the final result. The show’s success also led to more people playing “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.” For the first time, the game saw 100,000 concurrent players on the gaming platform Steam.
“The Witcher” is available to stream to your heart’s content right now.