With more than 6 million copies sold so far, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is one of this year’s bona fide hits in the gaming world, and now the wildly popular franchise is headed to the big screen.
The Sean Daniel Company, producers of The Mummy movies and the upcoming remake of Ben-Hur, announced this week that it will co-produce a live-action, feature-length film based on Andrzej Sapkowski’s The Witcher novels, the inspiration for the game franchise. The American production company will partner with Polish producers Platige Films on the project.
Longtime fans of the franchise might recall that this isn’t the first time the series has been adapted for the screen, as the 2001 Polish film The Witcher (also known as The Hexer in some regions) was also based on Sapkowski’s novels, but ended up being a critical and commercial flop despite being released as both a two-hour movie and a television miniseries.
The director of the upcoming film based on The Witcher will be Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Tomasz Bagiński, who received the Oscar nomination for his 2002 short film The Cathedral. Bagiński also directed the opening cinematics for the first two installments of The Witcher franchise.
Encompassing five series novels, various collections of short stories, and at least one prequel novel, Sapkowski’s The Witcher series went on to inspire three major game releases between 2007 and 2015, with the latest installment receiving significant critical praise to go along with its blockbuster sales. The primary protagonist of the franchise is a wandering monster hunter named Geralt, who uses his formidable fighting skills and a variety of magical abilities to track and dispatch supernatural creatures in a medieval fantasy world.
According to the announcement of the project, the film will not be adapted directly from any of the games or novels, but will be inspired by the themes of the short stories “The Witcher” and “Lesser Evil” from Sapkowski’s 2008 collection titled The Last Wish. Screenwriter Thania St. John (Grimm, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) will pen the script for the film.
The press release regarding the film also indicates that a television series is also planned for The Witcher franchise, with an expected release date for the movie at some point in 2017.