Netflix revealed the first trailer for its epic fantasy series The Witcher on Friday at Comic-Con. Star Henry Cavill was on hand for the unveiling during the streamer’s Hall H presentation, which included a panel featuring writer/executive producer/showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich and Cavill’s fellow cast members Anya Chalotra and Freya Allan.
No release date yet for the series, but Netflix’s Ted Sarandos signaled back in April that a fourth-quarter 2019 premiere was in the works.
The eight-episode original series is based on Andrzej Sapkowsk’s fantasy books that center on Cavill’s famed monster hunter Geralt of Rivia and his struggle to find his place in the world of The Continent, where humans, elves, witchers, gnomes and monsters battle to survive and thrive. Cahill was a huge fan of the games, and when he heard that Schmidt Hissrich was developing the series, and “I annoyed the hell out of her,” the Man of Steel actor said. Schmidt Hissrich saw 247 actors before she settled on Cavill. “He came into read, and we gave him the part that day,” said the series creator.
What is a Witcher? Said Cavill today: “They’re young boys, who are taken from the streets and left to fend for themselves. Ultimately they’re taken in by a group of witches who are trained in a level of inhuman agility and endurance. From there they’re subjected to various chemical trials and become mutants. Most of these children do not survive. After that they’re trained in monster hunting, and that becomes their one sole purpose in the world, and they’re rejected by people.”
Cavill’s Geralt has a horse named Roach that he’s very close to. Schmidt Hissrich wrote a soliloquy of Geralt talking to his horse. When she passed the script around to friends, they would say, “What’s with the guy talking to his horse,” But Schmidt Hissrich wouldn’t cut it, saying, “It’s his anchor.”
Kapkowski, who wrote eight books in the series, is a creative consultant on the Netflix show. Sean Daniel, Jason Brown and Kathy Lingg at Hivemind Entertainment are exec producers along with The Fallen’s Tomek Baginski and Jarek Sawko from Polish production and VFX house Platige Image. The series was shot in Bulgaria, the Canary Islands and Poland, which is where this short-story series originates from.
Chalotra co-stars as Yennefer and Allan plays Ciri in the series, which also features Jodhi May, Björn Hlynur Haraldsson, Adam Levy, MyAnna Buring, Mimi Ndiweni, Therica Wilson-Read, Emma Appleton, Eamon Farren, Joey Batey, Lars Mikkelsen, Royce Pierreson, Maciej Musiał, Wilson Radjou-Pujalte and Anna Shaffer.
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