Does anyone remember the first Witcher foray into a TV/film adaptation? If you said no, that's probably for the best.
The massively popular and critically successful Witcher video game series developed by CD Projekt RED takes its title and narrative premise from the Witcher book series by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. First published back in the mid 1980s, the series of short stories and novelisations follows the adventures of the titular Witcher Geralt of Rivia, a large amount of which involves his relationship with Cirilla "Ciri" Riannon.
As a young princess Ciri becomes an unwilling political pawn as well as Geralt's protege as a trainee Witcher, and a lot of Geralt's adventures follow his attempts to protect her whilst raising her as a Witcher (as we saw adapted in The Witcher 3).
Although the original title was first translated as Witcher, Sapkowski himself preferred the translation Hexer, and so this became the name of the little known film The Hexer, which was the first foray into adapting The Witcher series onto the big screen.
Needless to say, it was terrible.
Part of this was due to the fact that rather than being produced as a stand alone film, The Hexer was pieced together from pieces of the as then unreleased Wiedzmin (Witcher) TV series distilled down into a two hour feature. And part of it was due to the lack of coherency in regards to the source material, something which carried over from the TV series itself.
Sapkowski himself spoke out about how awful the film was, when asked what he thought of The Hexer he responded:
"I can answer only with a single word, an obscene, albeit a short one. I am a Polish Catholic, it is Lent now; I cannot utter swear words."
Ouch. Way to throw that shade Sapkowski.
Anyway, given the poor track record for video game film adaptations in general it was with some trepidation that we received the news that another Witcher adaptation is in the works, this one set for 2017.
Producer Sean Daniel (known for The Mummy series - take from that what you will) is set to head up the project, working alongside Polish studio Platige Films and director Tomek Baginski and Grimm writer Thania St. John.
We don't know very much about it yet given that it's not set for release for another two years, but what we do know is that it's said to be the first in a series (a trilogy perhaps?). And whilst it's going to be a stand-alone narrative featuring Geralt it will draw thematically from select stories from Sapkowski's The Last Wish, a novel collection of Witcher short stories.
We'll have to wait until more information emerges before we can start speculating as to how good or bad it looks, but for now we take solace in the knowledge that it can't possibly be worse than The Hexer...