Netflix is potentially heading toward some challenges with Apple and Disney giving them a run for their money. However, they’re also pushing out some interesting strategies to overcome the stiff competition. While that includes things like streaming some Oscar-caliber films in November and acquiring the rights to Seinfeld, they’re also still focusing on what made them stand out: Originals.
One of those about to start is thought to possibly be a winner. As Netflix goes through a period of viewers questioning the platform’s sense of quality and being too trigger happy on cancellations, The Witcher is being looked at as a major phenomenon.
It doesn’t start until approximately December. Yet, it’s worth taking a minute to see what this fantasy series could do to keep viewers in binge-watch mode through 2020.
Another journey into the fantasy realms, a little like ‘Game of Thrones‘
Those of you familiar with the books of The Witcher will know Andrzej Sapkowski is a name potentially becoming as familiar as George R.R. Martin. These books tell the story of Geralt of Rivia who’s a monster hunter living in isolation. Geralt struggles to find his place in an increasingly violent world while finding himself intertwined with a Sorceress and a mysterious princess.
Most of the story involves them navigating the continent of Rivia together where an epic tale unfolds involving political intrigue and turmoil, not unlike Game of Thrones. Yes, it’s more than a little clear Netflix saw this as the next GoT and decided to turn it into a (mini) series rather than make it a one-shot movie.
Initially, there were plans to turn it into a standalone movie. Considering eight books were written by Sapkowski over 30 years, there was plenty of material to mine from for an indefinite series. The good news is Sapkowski will be involved as the show’s creative consultant, making fans of the books hopeful for a faithful adaptation.
Whether fans will turn it into the next Game of Thrones remains to be seen, even if the themes are more than relevant to our current political climate.
The initial reaction brought some comedic memes to social media
When The Witcher gave a first-look preview last year to fans on social media, the response was more than a little mixed. Apparently it was just test footage of star Henry Cavill in the Geralt blonde wig. Many people ribbed his initial appearance, something we see was slightly amended in the new trailer.
No doubt this had Netflix initially worried, but this show is all about telling a compelling story giving warnings about our own world. Outside of reflecting Polish politics at the time the books were written, many of the international political themes still ring true today.
Video game editions of The Witcher have sold in the millions, proving how much of a following it has. Whether Netflix will stay committed to their version, though, is another concern. Their initial excitement over adapting the books into a series could easily start to wither since they seem to lose faith too fast in some of their promising shows.
Why is Netflix so eager to cancel their shows lately?
We’re starting to see Netflix act far too similarly to regular TV network executives in giving the axe to shows with loyal followings. Just because a show on Netflix isn’t initially receiving enough views of what’s expected, execs there seem to be pushing toward cancellations rather than risk financial losses.
Perhaps it’s because they’re starting to feel the pressure from upcoming streaming services, not including the expense of acquiring rights to shows produced outside Netflix. Many analysts note Netflix is now looking to produce more shows through their own studios to avoid the larger payouts they’ve been doling out to others.
The Witcher is being produced by some outside studios, no doubt making it a gamble for Netflix. Unless it receives GoT numbers, it could become another quick casualty, making viewers more frustrated at Netflix turning into a typical TV network and not giving shows a chance to develop an audience.
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