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The Witcher (Netflix)

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Netflix has dipped their paws into yet another beloved franchise to adapt into a TV series. They've done it to Death Note, and now it's the book/game series The Witcher on the production table. Filming wrapped up today, in fact.

https://screenrant.com/netflix-witcher-henry-cavill-season-1-wrap/

A few days ago, there was a footage leak of some Nilfgaardian armour that's stirred up an outcry. Fans have been understandably upset because it resembles Thanos's glorious chin more than how it's represented in the games/books. The optimist in me is hoping that because the series is not set for release until later this year, that there may be some much needed edits made which we don't see in this leak. The public backlash over Sonic's film design was enough to sway the director into making changes to please the audience. Perhaps something can be learned from that. Or not.

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I'll never understand.  Why would a studio take a popular title, change it, and try to feed that to the fan base that made the original title popular?  I mean, presumably fans are already happy with the material the way it is, otherwise they wouldn't be fans and they wouldn't have made it popular enough to attract the interest of the money-grubbing studio in the first place, right?  If the studio wants to do something original then do something original.  If the studio wants to do something safe and make money then don't change something that's already popular the way it is.

At least show some rough-draft material to existing fans to see how they react before doing something you - and they - will regret.

Edited by efaardvark
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@efaardvark It's a shame, I think, that this happens to so many adaptations which already have a fan base. I can think of a few exceptions which the adaptations weren't terrible, a great example being Game of Thrones (save perhaps for the final season,) and more recently Det. Pikachu which surprised me. And both of those examples basically demonstrate both ends of what you say, one is original and the other follows the source material (correct me if I'm wrong there, I actually haven't watched a single episode of GoT.) 

In the case of the Witcher, supposedly the series is to follow the source material-- that being the books. Since the games are technically an adaptation themselves, it's hard to say if this was the right move but something tells me A) most fans have not read the books and B) they're going to be disappointed because of this. And that's assuming everything else going on with this isn't a total train wreck. I'm somebody who usually reserves their judgement until I see something for myself, but this is looking bleak and to my knowledge the only Netflix-produced adaptation that did well in recent memory was Umbrella Academy. Their track record has been otherwise unremarkable. 

 

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Well we got a trailer dropped today, I think I was right at least about the power of editing. Any thoughts?

 

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Since the Netflix adaptation is going to focus more on the novel series than the game it's fairly unfair to compare it to the games which is already being done en masse creating some superficial stigma when things don't match their perception of Geralt which is quite different from the source material. As long as people don't expect the video game version I have no real reason to doubt Netflix's adaptation following the bidding war they had for the franchise they're going to put effort into it rather than simply trying to capitalize on the game's success so as to justify what they're spending bringing the adaptation to television adjacent media. Inevitably though taking the source material instead of the games is going to hurt the success quite a bit since people tend to expect what they're familiar with it happens with quite a few otherwise acceptable movies/series that try to do their own thing rather than shoot scene for scene what a game. Mileage certainly varies on these adaptations that use the game source material as a rough basis and the fans of the games they're based off of are quite vocal to say how bad the resulting movies are if they don't follow the game verbatim, but I'd argue that there are at least a few movies that are unfairly judged because of it from the Resident Evil Movies, to Silent Hill Movies, to Prince of Persia, the real issue is that people can't disconnect from the source and what they're familiar with and as mentioned if things don't follow their own perception of 'canon' even if their 'canon' is an adaptation in and of itself then they're going to run into issues. Several members of my family being non-gamers quite enjoy some of the movies that didn't get great ratings taking them as stand alone movies instead like Prince of Persia which has a whooping 37% Rotten Tomatoes and World of Warcraft which comes in at an even lower 27% on Rotten Tomatoes. Really though this stigma isn't exclusive to simply television adaptations, it applies to remasters or remakes in the same genre as well, you have those individuals that will hold to that the original is better even if public opinion overwhelmingly says otherwise it's just more or less is how it is. I'd say give Netflix a chance before condemning their efforts as for the designs due to public outcry as Sonic did that's a slippery slope that gives the impression that if you complain enough you can ultimately get your way which whilst the result may be largely more satisfactory to the public it creates it's own problem changing the original design direction, adding costs that it wouldn't have otherwise, and places strain on the people creating the material which can dissuade people from trying to begin with or get the projects cancelled outright as being more hassle than they're worth once they're already started. The same people that do little more than to complain about adaptation because it's not how they would do it are the same people that complain that nobody does it. There's a large group of people waiting on a Metal Gear movie that nobody is going to take on because it's trap. (That and there'd be other issues with trying it including but not exclusive to the fact that Metal Gear is borderline copyright infringement to John Carpenter in several aspects along with several other aspects of Kojima's other works, but Metal Gear is fairly notable in that lawsuits over it ensued and were largely dismissed because Carpenter himself was fine with it.)

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On 8/8/2019 at 1:23 AM, Vitis said:

Inevitably though taking the source material instead of the games is going to hurt the success quite a bit since people tend to expect what they're familiar with it happens with quite a few otherwise acceptable movies/series that try to do their own thing rather than shoot scene for scene what a game.

That about sums up my view on it. I'm always in favour of reserving my judgement until I see it for myself. I think it's important that fans of the series in particular approach this adaptation with the right attitude and expectations. There's been adaptations I love and ones I didn't care for. I loved the Resident Evil films, and recently the Det. Pikachu film was pleasantly surprising to me. I wasn't a fan of Assassin's Creed with Michael Fassbender, or any of the attempts made at Death Note so far. Hell, I confess - I actually liked the Angry Birds movie. 

Anyway, we just can't know unless we give it a chance first. As always I'll be checking this one out with an open mind. 

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Seems promissing. But don't forget, the tv series is not based on the game saga. Its based on the books. So most people may become a bit disappointed. The games kinda follow their own story.

Anyway, i trust Netflix and Henry is a great actor. We will see how it turns out.

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Personally looking forward to it since I read the books and I think that it will be interesting to see how it turns out. Maybe even introduce newcomers to Andrzej Sapkowski's work. I'm also interested in seeing what Henry Cavill does with the role. Crossing my fingers that he nails it so he can add another notch to his acting portfolio. Also interested in seeing what Anya Chalotra can do. She doesn't seem to have much screen experience from what I can gather. It would be nice to see a fresh face on television. 

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Netflix has released another peek at this series with a new trailer featuring Henry Cavill's booty. It seems to be shaping up nicely and knowing Cavill is the supernerd he is, I'm looking forward to his portrayal of Geralt. Of course we know Geralt isn't the only thing we should be looking at. Anya Chalotra appears to be making a big debut here as Yennefer, so I'm expecting she'll want to put her best foot forward and leave a good impression since this will be the largest production she's been cast in yet, her previous appearances in web series and BBC docuseries being relatively low impact. 

We also have a release date of 20 December for Netflix. Won't be long now! 

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