Netflix’s recent TUDUM event announced a kid and family series spin-off of Netflix’s popular fantasy show The Witcher. While the show is said to have been set in the familiar world of The Witcher, the idea has received widespread criticism. Showrunner Lauren S. Hissrich responds calmly to these criticisms and claims otherwise.
The Witcher showrunner Lauren S. Hissrich counters the audiences’ disapproval over the recently announced kids and family spin-off of the series. Adapted from the short stories and novels created by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski.
The Witcher Season 1 audience’s response was astonishing and the title immediately became one of the most talked-about shows of the year. The Witcher follows the story of its primary character, Geralt of Rivia (played by Henry Cavill), a monster hunter who was transformed by magic at a very young age. Amongst are many other main characters like the sorceress Yennefer (Anya Chalotra), Cirilla, the crown princess of Cintra (Freya Allen), and the bard Jaskier (Joey Batey).
Even before season 1 of The Witcher was aired, its acclaim was guaranteed. Which is why Netflix had already renewed the series for a sequel and probably even a third season. However, the world sketched by Sapkowski’s is widespread and majestic, providing the creators with a number of opportunities for spinoffs.
Aired in August 2021, Netflix’s The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf was the first in the upcoming series of spin-offs. The animation film is set before the original timeline, telling the story of Vesemir, Geralt’s mentor. The character of Vesemir will next appear in season 2 of the main series and will be played by Kim Bodnia. The Witcher: Blood Origin will follow as the second spin-off. The series will serve as a live-action prequel and will tell the story of witchers and their origin.
In Netflix’s recent TUDUM event, there was an announcement made for the release of another animated feature film for the category of Kids and Family. The part of the announcement that revealed that the series “is set in the world of The Witcher” is what caught people’s attention, and the news received immediate backlash. The Witcher showrunner Lauren S. Hissrich has taken it upon herself to clear the air by replying to said criticisms on Twitter (via Comicbook). Hissrich says that even though The Witcher is “a dark, mature universe” there is a lot of opportunities for the basic storyline to be transformed into stories that can be entertaining and informative to kids. Here is how The Witcher showrunner put it in words:
“I agree, The Witcher is a dark, mature universe. I’d go further. It’s controversial. Political. A microcosm of humanity, for all its goodness and evil. But I believe — STRONGLY believe — that the moral dilemmas and ethical grayness that adults love in this universe — can be extrapolated to stories that kids in this chaotic world desperately need, and could benefit from.”
Continuing her response in the Twitter thread, Hissrich takes the example of her own kids. Despite the fact that they are quite young for the mainline world of The Witcher, Hissrich believes that the story could be set up in the right circumstances so as to reap comfort. Hissrich says the show could be made so that it gets them and their small but meaningful place in the world and also serves as a “foundation from which to talk about big topics, racism, sexism, what it means to be a monster, and how we can fight back against those bleak black holes of humanity, so everyone knows there’s a place for them.” From an elaborate perspective, the showrunner believes this introduction would also benefit the brand as it would give The Witcher newer audiences.
It is true that Netflix’s dystopian world of The Witcher is mainly popular for its controversial aspects and adult content such as graphic violence and gore, sex and nudity, and insane profanity. Thus, the contemplation of a Witcher series focused on kids to be the primary audience does draw attention. It sure is impossible to picture what a kids and family version of The Witcher would look like, especially because we are already familiar with the universe. But whatever it is, or whether Hissrich will be involved in the development or not, the showrunner’s response seems promising. Hissrich looks like she knows what she wants further with The Witcher, and she’s out to get it. While the project is yet to be brought to the flesh, we are hoping to hear more about it soon.