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Henry Cavill Was Right: Netflix’s Original Plan Was To Turn The Witcher into a Movie and Call it a Day – “How can you take 8 novels and just turn it into a film?”

henry cavilll the witcher

Netflix’s The Witcher has become a cultural phenomenon, captivating fans with its well-paced character-building and converging storylines. As season 3 is on the way, the show remains one of Netflix’s most popular shows.

However, it’s surprising that the streamer did not expect the series to become as successful as it did. In early discussions about the project, Netflix executives suggested making The Witcher a single movie.

The Witcher: From Book Series to Netflix Sensation

Henry Cavill
Henry Cavill

The Witcher is based on an eight-book series by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. Sapkowski’s third installment of The Witcher Saga, The Last Wish, was released in 1993. A collection of seven short stories, it follows the titular hero, Geralt of Rivia, through different adventures.

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Season 1 of Netflix’s The Witcher sets up some of the storylines from The Last Wish. The second season is loosely based on Blood of Elves, Sapkowski’s fourth series installment. The show stars Henry Cavill as Geralt, Anya Chalotra as Yennefer, and Freya Allan as Ciri.

Like the books, it follows the adventures of Geralt of Rivia, a powerful Witcher who uses his magic, smarts, and strength to defeat monsters and other evil forces. In 2017, the streaming giant discussed creating a feature-length film based on Sapkowski’s books.

Henry Cavill in The Witcher
Henry Cavill in The Witcher

However, Kelly Luegenbiehl, Netflix’s Vice President of Creative for International Originals, knew the books featured complex characters and storylines. So she told her colleagues to consider making the project a series.

“‘How can you take eight novels and just turn it into a film? There’s so much material here. There’s so much that you can do.’ Through a number of conversations, the producers got really excited about the idea of using the source material for a longer-running series.”

After several conversations, the producers got excited about using the source material for a longer-running series. While the plans eventually fell through, it’s interesting to consider how the series might have been different had it been made as a movie.

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The Witcher Spinoffs: Expanding the Universe

It’s safe to say the epic scope of the series and its characters wouldn’t have been possible in one film, but the idea is still intriguing. The Witcher series has been so successful that it has spawned spinoffs.

In August 2021, just months before The Witcher Season 2 premiered, Netflix released the animated film, The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf. The spinoff tells the story of Geralt’s fellow witcher, mentor, and friend, Vesemir. In December 2022, Netflix premiered The Witcher: Blood Origin, a prequel to The Witcher adapted from Sapkowski’s stories.

Henry Cavill
Henry Cavill

Another spinoff, The Rats (the working title), is currently in production. It will follow the adventures of a group of Nilfgaardian renegades in Ciri’s orbit. The Witcher Season 3 is scheduled for a 2023 release. It will serve as Henry Cavill’s final season as Geralt of Rivia. The first two seasons of the series and its spinoffs are available to stream on Netflix.

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The Witcher has undoubtedly become one of Netflix’s most successful original shows, proving it is a well-crafted adaptation of an epic book series. Fans of the show can only hope that the upcoming season and spinoffs continue to deliver the same level of excitement and storytelling that has made The Witcher such a hit.

The Witcher is streaming on Netflix.

Source: Publishers Weekly.

Written by Mabel Andrady

Mabel, aka MJ, is a FandomWire Sr. Writer, pop-culture fanatic, and an MA in Health Demography holder. When she's not indulging in her guilty pleasure of penning everything Hollywood, Marvel & DC, she writes academic essays on COVID-19 and HIV/AIDS. With 2500+ articles published online, she brings a unique twist to entertainment writing. A jack-of-all-trades, MJ enjoys movies, writes/acts in plays, writes music, and dreams of being a successful actress. She offers a fresh perspective, making her writing a must-read for those seeking knowledge and entertainment.