The Witcher showrunner Lauren S. Hissrich opens up about what it will take for the Henry Cavill-led series to get a season 3 renewal from Netflix. The fantasy series is based on the novels and short story franchise of the same name from Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. The Witcher primarily focuses on the legend of Geralt of Rivia, the titular monster hunter, as he travels through the fictional land known as the Continent and whose destiny is linked to that of Princess Ciri.
Alongside Cavill, the cast for The Witcher includes Freya Allen as Ciri, Anya Chalotra as Yennefer, a quarter-elf sorceress who forms a romantic bond with Geralt, Eamon Farren as an army commander hunting down Cirilla and Joey Batey as Jaskier, a traveling bard who befriends and accompanies Geralt on his path. Upon its premiere, The Witcher received generally positive reviews from critics and was a ratings smash for Netflix, ranking as the second-most-watched series for the streamer in 2019 in the U.S. as well as becoming the largest Netflix series launch by January 2020 with over 76 million views. Though the series was renewed for season 2 ahead of its premiere and multiple spin-offs are on the way, including the soon-to-be-released anime prequel film The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf, it appears Netflix isn’t rushing to continue this franchise expansion just yet..
Hissrich recently attended the Television Critics Association press tour for a virtual panel for The Witcher. In response to a question posed by The Wrap about the series’ future, the showrunner noted work on season 3 has not gotten underway despite earlier reports suggesting such and discussing what will be needed for the show to even get the renewal. See what Hissrich said below:
“No, there has been no formal renewal. In fact, right now my focus is on Season 2. I mean, we have this air date now. We are going to launch on Dec. 17. There is still a lot of work to be done in post-production, so I am back and forth between Los Angeles and London completing that. And that is just, honestly, where all of our focus is right now because we need a great Season 2 if we have a hope of having a Season 3.”
Though it was a ratings hit for the streaming platform upon its debut, there are a variety of factors preventing Netflix from giving the early season 3 greenlight. For starters, the sheer cost of The Witcher was already considerably high for season 1, with Netflix shelling out an approximate $70-80 million for the series, $3.2 million of which went to Cavill himself. With the actor getting $400k per episode for season 2, the cost is likely to be about the same if not higher for the next chapter given the extra precautions the production would have taken during its COVID-19 shoot.
Additionally, the reviews will be a key factor for whether The Witcher will return for a season 3. Audiences were truly enamored with the first season, but critics found themselves more mixed, with the Rotten Tomatoes score currently sitting at a 68 percent approval rating, definitely a win in one sense but in another a clear sign there is work to be done to win over more than just general viewers. With only a few months remaining until The Witcher season 2 premieres on Netflix, only time will tell whether the streamer elects to wait for the numbers on its return to greenlight season 3 or double down on their faith in the property ahead of time.
Source: The Wrap