There’s now some interesting news for The Witcher fans out there, me included. Following on from many other gaming franchises, such as Prince of Persia, Hitman, Silent Hill and many others, it seems The Witcher may be set for the live action treatment as well.
Studio Platige Films has joined with the Sean Daniel Company, the company responsible for The Mummy franchise, to help bring The Witcher to the big screen. Tomasz Baginski, an Oscar-winning short film director, is set to direct the film with Grimm producer Thania St John creating the script. There is no one attached to play Geralt or anyone else from the franchise.
The film, which was announced as being in pre-production from August, is planned to be the first in a series of films.
The franchise has previously been seen on the big screen. The Polish film The Hexer, screened exclusively in Poland, is based on the same story and even managed to gain a short tv series.
I loved the game play of The Witcher franchise, it was a classic role playing game with all new elements about it. However what was also good about it is the time it takes to play the game. Some games are short and, depending on the genre, this can be perfect. However, role playing games such as The Witcher can’t be short. They go on for hours and hours, filled with side quests, stories, choices, optional extras and a main story on top of it all. When I heard this news it has made be very sceptical. The series won’t work with a two hour long film, it needs room to develop. The idea of a series of movie though… that might work.
What is surprising is that the developer CD Project Red is not stated to be involved in the project. Author Andrzej Sapkowski, the original author of the novels the game is based on, does not consider the video game to be canonical to the books. There would be little point writing a book based on a game based on a book. Therefore the new film will likely be based on Sapkowski’s books rather than the game.
I’m still unconvinced that this will work out though. The game is what made The Witcher famous. If I was to play a game then watch a movie related to it, I would hope it to have the same level of detail, story and ‘gameplay’ as in the game itself. For the film to have any amount of sway or acceptance it will need to completely disassociate itself with the game. If it doesn’t then people will not consider it as a standalone film but a film of a game.
As of yet there is not official release for the film.