WITCHER AND OTHER TV ADAPTATIONS
Written by: Sarmad2332 - 09:18 Mar-01-2018

A while ago, an article was posted on GD, that detailed the soon to be made WITCHER TV series on Netflix. I too participated in the comment discussion where I expressed sarcastically to a comment lamenting on the game being "milked". I said that "Nothing is Sacred, Everything can be MILKED", alluding both to the Assassin's Creed mantra as well as the fact that western studios are supremely quick to pick up games, books and comics or mangas and anime for TV adaptations but often forgo the necessary respect an adaptation, by definition, demands from them

Look at the wonderful work on Death Note by Netflix, Gotham, Hitman and Agent 47, Eragon, Dark Tower, The Mist, Dragon Ball Z, Ghost in a Shell, Justice League, Batman v Superman, Carrie, Wolverine, Avatar: The Last Airbender, even Twilight (a stereotypical teenage Gothic rom-com that was fundamentally different from the book in several key moments). Just these off the top of my head. Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, To Kill a Mockingbird and their ilk survived the transition from books to movies due to their superior followings plus the excessive pressure from fans as well as the book authors.

But unlike these literary and popular fiction examples, Witcher is not even near the same league. The game Witcher is more famous than the book and has significantly more influence globally. So in light of the history of these transitions, it seems more likely that Witcher will be botched up, or will fail to fulfill the fan reactions. Consider my argument for this. As I said, the game is significantly more famous and influential and it starts off AFTER the 7-parts of Witcher novels end. Even among the games, the more popular is Witcher 2 which utilized better graphics and a combat system fundamentally same as Assassins's Creed. And the 2nd part's success contributed significantly to the third parts success and legacy. So a large chunk of fans will not be able to identify with the TV series and critique it as it will be based on a 7 part Polish novel series.

Look at Metro 2033, also a novel series (it is russian) that transitioned into a game. Unlike Witcher, the novel was a commercial hit and had been translated into multiple languages before the game was proposed, including English. And unlike Metro 2033, the Witcher series is, again, very different. It utilizes alot of mature themes that are great and wonderful, but also at the same time difficult to express universally. Look at Hitman and Resident Evil, both genre defining games but both that fail to live up to the promise on the silver screen because the experience the viewer receives is significantly different to what the games received.

Look at SKYRIM, a movie or Tv series on it will most likely be a flop because skyrim's greatness and fame stems from the travel, exploration, freedom and threat of dragons. Not so much from the story itself. Plus if the current superhero shows teach us anything, its that the greater the amount of special effects required by story, the harder it is to maintain a feasible budget. Witcher is a fantasy world with all sorts of creatures and monsters. Its very likely that a alot of key figures, monsters and creatures will be axed not because of importance, but purely because of practicality of airing and showcasing them. Take the example of Game of Thrones, or Mera Sultan (an excessively popular soap on the life of and Ottoman Ruler). Both the shows increased the use of props, special effects as the ratings and viewership increased, which in turn yielded a higher budget for the production teams to utilize.

I know I seem a lot pessimistic and I know I am condemning a show based on paranoia but that is what I have learnt these past few years. The repeated failures and shortcomings of adaptations of so many great stories and games has left me with zero faith in production houses. I honestly half expected "them" to make a white Black Panther. THAT is the amount of faith I have left. I simply see no reason to hope otherwise for Witcher novel series, that has significantly less of a fan base  

 


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