It is clear that The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has been one of the biggest hits of 2015, and is certainly one of the best games you can play today. Made by Polish outfit CD Projekt, the game is not afraid to tackle adult themes involving violence and sex in a morally ambiguous world, and is all the richer for it. And although the game has generated a bit of controversy, with accusations of sexism and racism having been directed at CD Projekt’s latest game, The Witcher 3 is still one of the best role-playing games made to date and definitely a candidate for Game of the Year.
And given how popular The Witcher series is, it makes sense that Polish production company Platige Image has teamed up with American The Sean Daniel Company to produce a film based on the novels of author Andrzej Sapkowski, which were also the inspiration for CD Projekt’s best-selling Witcher games.
And even though the movie will not be based on the video games, Platige also worked on the stunning “The Trail” cinematic for The Witcher 3, in which protagonist Geralt investigates a bloody battlefield for signs of his lover Yennefer, and is certainly one of the best video game cinematics produced to date. And it is clear that there would be no talk of a Witcher movie if the video games had not been such a rousing success, as The Witcher 3 has shifted more than 6 million copies to date.
So would a Witcher movie be a box office hit or be well received by the critics? While we’ll have to wait until 2017 to find out, it must be remembered that the history of video game movies is dotted with failures, from 1993’s abysmal Super Mario Bros. to the rather poor Hitman movie that came out this summer. And even the box office smash and pretty decent Prince of Persia movie which came out in 2010 is viewed as a failure by many, and clearly producer The Walt Disney Company thought as much, as there were no sequels.
And most people are likely to associate the movie with the video games rather than the novels, although the upcoming Witcher movie will be based on Sapkowski’s books rather than CD Projekt’s games, given the success of The Witcher 3. So perhaps the producers of a Witcher movie would have to distance themselves from The Witcher games despite their quality, and instead focus on the books.
Because although video games have come forward in leaps and bounds, they are still not viewed by many as an art form, and perhaps the producers would come up with a better movie if they simply made the most of Sapkowski’s novels, with their dark, morally ambiguous fantasy world and fascinating characters. As good as the video games are, it might perhaps be wiser for the makers of a Witcher movie not to look for inspiration in CD Projekt’s take on Sapkowski’s fantasy, as sadly movies based on video games rarely turn out well.
But still, given that the movie won’t hit the theaters until 2017, gamers can still enjoy CD Projekt’s superb The Witcher 3, as the Polish outfit has kept updating the game and adding to it. The “Hearts of Stone” expansion was released in late October and another expansion titled “Blood and Wine” is slated for release in the first quarter of 2016, meaning that Geralt’s video game adventures are not yet over, and hopefully he’ll delight us just as much when The Witcher movie debuts in 2017.