The Witcher Netflix Series Showrunner Offers Insight into Writing Process
Here's why they have to figure out how the season will begin and end before anything else.
By Chris Morse
We still have quite a long wait before we can see a live-action adaptation of The Witcher make its way to Netflix, but writer, executive producer, and showrunner Lauren S. Hissrich has kept the wait interesting by frequently taking to Twitter and offering her own announcements and insight directly from the social media platform. With writing well-underway and casting set to begin soon, a lot of work has already gone into the series so fans should be somewhat optimistic about the progress so far.
Hissrich has been no stranger to discussing the process of developing the series, from drafting the pilot episode to mapping out the full season with her writing team, and that openness invites some questions and criticism from fans and armchair producers alike who want to know more or have questioned the approach she is taking on the series. In a fairly thorough rebuttal, the showrunner explained the importance of knowing where the first season should end and revealed many of the factors being considered while mapping out each episode.
The process is thorough and should leave fans feeling like The Witcher is in good hands, whether they are gamers who appreciate the CD Projekt Red adaptations or readers of Andrzej Sapkowski's books. Here is a full breakdown of the discussion from Twitter.
On the first day, @declandebarra (tall, carries a yard stick) draws eight identical columns on the white boards, labeling them 101 through 108: that's the pilot (101 = Season One, Episode One) through the finale. Remember the picture I posted months ago? See the columns? pic.twitter.com/AcPTDA5rJC— Lauren S. Hissrich (@LHissrich) July 14, 2018
And that's a LOT of pressure, so instead of staring at 102, we turn our attention to 108. What's a satisfying conclusion to the season that not only fulfills Geralt and Co's emotional journeys, but also keeps the audience hanging on for another year, to come back for more? (????)— Lauren S. Hissrich (@LHissrich) July 14, 2018
Moving on: with the end firmly in place, we focus on filling in the columns leading up to it, from 102 to 107. And while I can't tell you what @hailzor and @BeauDeMayo wrote on the board (color-coded by character), here are some of the questions we asked as we did it:— Lauren S. Hissrich (@LHissrich) July 14, 2018
Is there enough emotion? Enough humor? Enough Roach? ????— Lauren S. Hissrich (@LHissrich) July 14, 2018
Where do monsters fit in? And romance?
What world-building do we need to set up for future seasons? What courts, hierarchies, politics?
How do we establish that environment without OVER-explaining?
Are we honoring the books?— Lauren S. Hissrich (@LHissrich) July 14, 2018
Are we honoring the world? The existing fans? New fans?
Are we adding the right amount of unexpected twists and turns so that the tv adaptation is as fun and surprising as other adaptations, while still staying true to the work's original intentions?
So we write and erase and rewrite and re-break again and again, until it works, which is fine because no matter what, we have a PLAN. The reason we're moving so quickly (ten weeks!) is because we know where we're going, and we can't wait to get there.— Lauren S. Hissrich (@LHissrich) July 14, 2018
All in all, there was a lot of great insight here, not only into the process behind developing the series, but also the level of quality control being ensured by Hissrich. The world of witchers, monsters, and magic has a whole lot of substance to live up to and it seems like the team is putting a great deal of work into getting it right. Hopefully the wait won't be too long before we get to see the results of this effort.
As always, more on the series as it develops here on Dead Entertainment.