Netflix’s The Witcher has not had the greatest relationship with its fanbase these past couple of years, and it might sour even further with what franchise author Andrzej Sapkowski had to say at Vienna Comic-Con.
Many have criticised the streamer for its numerous deviations from Sapkowski’s source material, with the author himself quite annoyed at how Netflix had received his feedback.
“Maybe, I gave them some ideas, but they never listened to me. But it’s normal.” He told The Hollywood Reporter before breaking into an impression of a Netflix executive and saying dismissively, “Who’s this? It’s a writer, it’s nobody.”
Sapkowski’s statement reminded fans of The Witcher’s upcoming fourth season, where Henry Cavill (Mission: Impossible – Fallout, Man of Steel) will no longer be playing the White Wolf, the mantle falling to Liam Hemsworth (The Hunger Games, The Dressmaker). The reason behind his departure is still in limbo, with many speculating that the writers played a heavy hand in it as it seemed off that Cavill, who was committed to playing Geralt for seven seasons “as long as we can keep telling great stories which honour [author Andrzej] Sapkowski’s work”, would leave on his own.
Beau DeMayo (Moon Knight, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds), a former producer and writer on The Witcher, further fueled the flames with his answer (during a Q&A on his Instagram stories) to how he assembled the production team for the upcoming X-Men ’97 Disney+ series.
“I’ve been on a show – namely Witcher – where some of the writers were not or actively disliked the books and games (even actively mocking the source material),” DeMayo explained. “It’s a recipe for disaster and bad morale. Fandom as a litmus test checks egos, and makes all the long nights worth it. You have to respect the work before you’re allowed to add to its legacy.”
Heads turned quickly to showrunner Lauren Hissrich (Daredevil, The West Wing), who defended herself on Instagram.
“I’ve never mocked the books,” Hissrich wrote. “The books are my entire livelihood. I have a great relationship with Mr. Sapkowski and writer’s rooms are sacred and safe and – more than anything – supportive spaces. Don’t believe everything you read.”
With The Witcher season 3 down 36 percent in viewers from season two, it looks like the fans might not be on her side.