Netflix’s The Witcher TV series will star Henry Cavill as a loner monster hunter, battling his way through an (allegdly) epic tale of fate, family, and intertwined destinies. The promotional approach thus far for the series has included posterior shots and Cavill in a bathtub, along with showrunner Melissa Hissrich promising that this will be “a very adult show” with sex scenes, so there’s definitely a steamy, tongue-in-cheek aspect at work. And that’s fitting, given that the first The Witcher book, The Last Wish, begins with a sex scene. As for how the show’s actual substance goes, though, what should we expect from the monster-hunting side of the story?
SFX Magazine sat down with the show’s visual effects supervisor, Julian Parry, who reveals that the series is angling more towards horror than fantasy, which is moderately surprising, given that the source material is packaged within a medieval fantasy world. Via Games Radar, here’s what Perry offered on the subject:
“I definitely think it leans more towards horror,” Parry says. “We’re definitely taking the fantasy out. I can honestly say we’re not fantastical. I mean, it’s fantastical but in a grounded horror sense. For example, with Striga [a woman cursed to live as a monster], that’s one gnarly-looking thing. That’s very unpleasant!”
Those hoping for a sword-and-shield aesthetic may be left disappointed, but it’s partly down to logistics, as Parry explains: “We’ve got the Nilfgaard armies, which can’t exist because there are 10,000-plus of them. Same with the Temerians and the Cintrans. the armies physically can’t exist here on set.”
Even though Parry’s attempting to talk down the sword-and-shield aesthetic, there’s plenty of literal sword maneuvering from Cavill in the trailer, and the leading man has talked plenty about how he constantly practiced his sword play for several months leading into filming. However, the San Diego Comic-Con teaser for the series showed Cavill confronting an enormous spider-monster, so I guess whatever balance the series strikes shall remain a mystery for now. Heck, this is probably where I could make a bad joke about the “horror” of the series being represented by Cavill’s wig, but I think Ryan Reynolds has cornered the market on hair-related wisecracks about Cavill right now.
Netflix’s The Witcher will stream on December 20.