It seems that The Witcher creator himself Andrzej Sapkowski was, like fans, unimpressed with Netflix’s live-action and canon-breaking attempt at adapting his work.
The popular novelist gave his opinion on the lackluster-to-say-the-least series while speaking to Polish news outlet Dzieje during a recent appearance at the 2023 Taipei International Book Exhibition.
Per Twitter user @Kathleenmms321, who attended the event in person, when asked for his feelings towards Netflic’s The Witcher, Sapkowski simply and blandly asserted, “I’ve seen better. I’ve seen worse.”
Sapkowski’s lethargic response comes as no surprise in light of Netflix’s outright bastardization of his original books.
Not only did the show’s Lauren Schmidt-Hissrich-led production team veer sharply from the spirit of his original story – particularly with the recent Blood Origin miniseries – but they also wasted the casting potential of noted The Witcher fan Henry Cavill, who Sapkowski once praised as the definitive version of Geralt.
“I was more than happy with Henry Cavill’s appearance as The Witcher,” the Polish author told People ahead of the Netflix series’ 2019 premiere. “He’s a real professional. Just as Viggo Mortensen gave his face to Aragorn [in The Lord of the Rings], so Henry gave his to Geralt — and it shall be forever so.”
As of writing, Sapkowski has yet to weigh in on the now-former star’s upcoming replacement as The White Wolf, Liam Hemsworth.
Admittedly, Sapkowski’s disappointment in the live-action The Witcher is in some part his own fault, as the author made it a point to completely separate himself from its production.
“In all adaptations, be it the first or the last, I am never involved in its development,” he told Portugeuse website JPN in December 2018 (via Google Translate).
RELATED: After Henry Cavill Exits Series Allegedly Over Issues With Canon, Netflix’s ‘The Witcher’ Showrunner Lauren Hissrich Claims Upcoming Third Season “Is The Closest Thing That We’ve Done As A One-To-One Adaptation Of The Books”
“From my point of view, the book is the book and adaptation is adaptation,” he explained. “As Kipling said about East and West: ‘This is East and West is West, and the two will never meet.’ The adaptation and the original will never be found. Never. Adapters must be fitted.”
“That’s all I have to say about this because, as you may know, Netflix has signed a contract with me where it is explicitly listed that any production information I disclose will result in a severe financial penalty,” Sapkowski added. “Which is good for me, because I do not know s–t. So I can not say anything.”
He would further declare, “Netflix has forgotten to include my personal opinion on the contract and my personal opinion is that I do not know, and will never want to know, anything about the production.”
Lesson learned for aspiring creators: make sure to not let Hollywood with your creation, or else you’ll see your vision burnt to the ground.