The Witcher Creator Reveals His Shocking Opinion On The Netflix Show

The Witcher creator Andrzej Sapkowski did not give glowing praise to Netflix's series adaptation.

By Jessica Scott | Published

the witcher

Like most screen adaptations of books, Netflix’s The Witcher series is not exactly like the source material. This upsets some fans, but how does it make the author of the original books feel? The answer is, well, ambivalent. Andrzej Sapkowski’s sort of definitive statement on it at the Taipei International Book Exhibition was: “I’ve seen better. I’ve seen worse.”

This isn’t really glowing praise for the Henry Cavill-led (for now) series, but it isn’t outright disdain either. Sapkowski’s words may seem like just a lackluster, noncommittal shrug-off of the question, but it is actually true that he has seen worse adaptations of The Witcher in the past.

Sapkowski was and is very open about his views on a Polish adaptation of the books called The Hexer, which began as a poorly received film and was then followed by an equally despised mini-series. When the author was asked in several interviews what he thought about this adaptation of The Witcher, he replied: “I can answer only with a single word, an obscene, albeit a short one.”

In spite of the film having had a large budget and including many stars famous in Sapkowski’s native Poland, The Hexer was a flop. Fans of the books said that the casting was wrong, and two big changes from the original script led even the screenwriter, Michał Szczerbic, to demand his name not appear in the credits.

The cast and the musical score were given good reviews, but everything else about the film seemed to be wrong, with reviewer Barnaba Siegel referring to it as “the film we all want to forget.” The plot was chaotic and non-sensical, it didn’t adhere well to the story the books were telling, and the filmmakers’ attempt to pack too much into too short of a movie led to just one big mess.

Netflix’s The Witcher, however, is usually more faithful to the source material, something that has so far resonated with fans – including Henry Cavill. Cavill has been a long-time fan of the book series as well as the games that sprang from it. And he often used his clout to try forcing the series’ creators to stick to the story without making changes that his fellow fans wouldn’t like. Their refusal to do so, however, is rumored to be the reason why Cavill is leaving the series after season three. 

We may never know the real answer to why Cavill is leaving The Witcher, however, as every news source gives a different reason, all of which are pure speculation. Some, like The Guardian, claim that he left the show to go into training for the next Superman movie, but now, thanks to James Gunn and Peter Safran’s big new plans for DC Studios, that new Superman movie won’t involve Cavill at all.

Most fans are standing firm in their belief that it has something to do with Netflix’s desire to stray too far from the plot of the books. Cavill, like Sapkowski, has been pretty outspoken about his feelings about it in the past. We will have to check back in with Sapkowski after the next season or two – and after Cavill is replaced by Liam Hemsworth in the role of Geralt – to see if that changes his already so-so opinion of the show.