Culture & Society News Poland

The Witcher Netflix series starts shooting in Poland

Krakow, Poland – The Netflix adaptation of the book series by Andrzej Sapkowski has moved shooting locations, according to the latest rumours. After months of filming in Hungary and the Canary Islands, The Witcher crew has indeed been spotted in the southern Polish village of Rabsztyn and its castle ruins.

For The Witcher fans, Rabsztyn Castle could well be what the highly-anticipated show is using for Kaer Morhen, an old keep where Geralt and other Witchers train.

Principal production began in October 2018 in Hungary before shifting to the Canary Islands in March 2019. Expected to debut late 2019 or early 2020, The Witcher doesn’t have a firm release date yet. According to the show’s creator, Lauren Schmidt Hissrich, Season 1 will run for eight episodes.

The Netflix show is expected to target Game of Thrones fans who will be left hung out to dry at the end of HBO’s epic series’ final season.

In September 2018, it was announced that Henry Cavill, who plays Superman in the latest silver screen adaptations of the DC superhero, would play Geralt, the show’s monster-hunting hero. The pivotal role of Ciri, Princess of Cintra, will be played by Freya Allan, while Björn Hlynur, Adam Levy and Jodhi May, who plays Maggy in Game of Thrones, also join the cast.

“Casting The Witcher has been one of the biggest projects of my career, and undoubtedly the most exciting,” announced Schmidt Hissrich on the Netflix platform. “I can’t wait for these wonderful actors to bring such iconic and loved characters to life on screen, and to share these special stories with viewers all over the world.”

Alik Sakharov (House of Cards, Game of Thrones) will direct four episodes, including the first, while Alex Garcia Lopez (Marvel’s Luke Cage, Utopia) and Charlotte Brändström (Outlander, Counterpart, Disparue) will direct two episodes each. Andrzej Sapkowski, who wrote the novels on which the Witcher games and TV series are based, is serving as creative consultant, which will undoubtedly reassure some of the most anxious fans who remember too vividly a certain Michal Zebrowski playing their cult hero.

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Michal Zebrowski infamously played the role of the monster-hunting hero in The Hexer.

For those who didn’t know, The Witcher had indeed already been adapted into a movie and a TV series. Known as The Hexer internationally, the Polish movie Wiedźmin, which translates into The Witcher in English, was indeed released in 2001, before the popular video games. Panned by critics calling it a “nonsensical mishmash”, the movie was initialy intended to be a TV series that had been squished into a two-hour feature film. Director Marek Brodzki released it as a TV series as it was initially intended one year later. According to IGN, the general consensus was while the TV show was vastly more coherent than the film version, the movie’s reputation left a sour taste in the mouth of the viewer. And that was that.

In an interview in 2003, Sapkowski was asked for his thoughts on The Hexer movie and TV series. He replied: “To answer this question, I have only one word, and that word is indecent, though brief…”

Fingers crossed then.

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