The upcoming Netflix show The Witcher is not based on the games, Netflix insist, but rather the same Andrzej Sapkowski books that inspired the games. That doesn’t mean that they’re not influenced by the games, mind. I suspect they’d never be making this if CD Projekt Red hadn’t made Geralt a star. Netflix today released a trailer announcing a December 20th launch date, and the influence of the games is clear: Geralt in a bath. The iconic image of CD Projekt Red’s games is Geralt in a tub, and now Netflix have him in a bath? QED, pal.
You’re going to tell that Netflix would have hired Henry Cavill (the official Sexiest Man of 2013, according to Glamour magazine) to play a shag-happy monster hunter and indepedently had the thought to make him strip off for a bath scene? Unlikely. Everyone knows The Witcher 3 invented the idea of men washing, and that cheery RPS fanzine PC Gamer in particular popularised the image of Geralt in the bath. God bless their commitment to posting that same screenshot over and over.
I’m only being mostly facetious. “We’re not adapting the videogames, it’s a straight adaptation of the books,” showrunner Lauren Hissrich has insisted. But I don’t doubt a large part of why the show’s being made is because the game brought Geralt to a far wider global audience. Can the show be fully free of that influence? Can they ignore it entirely?
All doubt will be removed if the show arrives and we see Geralt repeatedly ditch his old clothes and swords in favour of new gear he just found in a bush.
The Witcher is due to hit the subscription service with eight episodes on December 20th.