The Witcher showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich has responded to criticism following the announcement of a spin-off series.
Based on the books by author Andrzej Sapkowski, The Witcher is an adult fantasy series which follows the adventures of Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill).
Before the second season has even been released, Netflix recently announced a third season, a second anime feature film and a family-friendly spin-off series are all in the works.
The latter has attracted some criticism due to the franchise’s adult nature. In response, Hissrich has explained how she believes adapting The Witcher universe for children can be of benefit to everyone.
Responding to concerns on Twitter, Hissrich wrote: “I agree, The Witcher is a dark, mature universe. I’d go further. It’s controversial. Political. A microcosm of humanity, for all its goodness and evil.
“But I believe – STRONGLY believe – that the moral dilemmas and ethical grayness that adults love in this universe can be extrapolated to stories that kids in this chaotic world desperately need, and could benefit from.”
If I can sit with them and watch a version they love, one they can laugh at, one they feel "gets them" and their small but meaningful place in the world — but that can also serve as a foundation from which to talk about big topics, racism, sexism, what it means to be a monster?
— Lauren S. Hissrich (@LHissrich) September 27, 2021
She continued: “I say this as the mom of an 8 year old and a 10 year old. They’ve begged me to watch the show. They can’t. It’s not appropriate, too mature and dark, as you say.
“But if I can sit with them and watch a version they love, one they can laugh at, one they feel ‘gets them’ and their small but meaningful place in the world – but that can also serve as a foundation from which to talk about big topics, racism, sexism, what it means to be a monster? And how we can fight back against those bleak black holes of humanity, so everyone knows there’s a place for them? Then I’m in.”
Addressing directly concerns about appealing to a younger audience, she added: “And yes, I hope this extends the brand viewership. I love The Witcher world. And I want more people to love it, too, no matter their age. Don’t you?”
The Witcher’s second season is set to be released December 17, which will consist of eight episodes.