The Witcher has been caught in a lot of recently after Henry Cavill decided to leave the show after season three finished filming. Fans have been commenting their anger and frustration of the direction the show has been going. Now, one of the showrunners promises some big changes.
A Return to the Soure Material?
Showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich has promised that the show will focus more on the source material from the books by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. Season two diverged from the source material and while fans weren’t happy with the decision, they didn’t jump ship. But when Henry Cavill decided to leave because of his frustrations with the direction of the show, that was when the fans revolted.
In an Instagram post Hissrich replied to a comment about the controversy “What I want to say is: I did hear the fans. And S3 very much shows that shift back to the books, following Sapkowski’s amazing character journeys of our mains. I’m super excited for people to see it, and to feel heard. (We also answer a lot of questions from the first two seasons — Cahir’s journey, the introduction of the Scoia’tael, and how our family comes back together.) I also think that S3 will calm a lot of the speculation that’s going on right now — if only we could get there sooner!”
Controversy and Damage Control
This sounds like damage control more than anything else. Season three was filmed before any of the criticism and Cavill is going to be in it. Once season three is out can we actually determine Hissrich’s to be true or false. And Cavill won’t be appearing in season four, which is going to change the dynamic of the show.
The controversy started when a former writer said that some writers “actively disliked” the source material. And when you look at season two of the show, that appeared to be very true. There were drastic changes and Cavill, who is a big fan of the books, was not too happy with these changes.
While Cavill has not openly said that that was the reason he was leaving, fans scourged through old interviews and were able to deduce that to be reason. It makes sense when Cavill previously said that he wanted to film all six seasons of the show. Past arguments with the show writers and interesting comments have painted a picture that everybody noticed too late.
I think the damage has been done to The Witcher franchise and that the show is going to suffer in viewership going forward. Season three should still do well since Cavill is in it but after that, I do not expect fans to return. Netflix has neglected this issue and it will see the consequences soon.
The first season was something special and it made me and many other people turn towards the books. That is ironic considering that they diverged from the source material. Damage control seems to be in action but it may be too late. Especially when they already lost out on the perfect actor for the series.