The newest edition of the SFX magazine not only brings us new photos of Henry Cavill (Geralt of Rivia), Anya Chalotra (Yennefer), and Freya Allan (Ciri) but also comes with a brand-new interview with The Witcher’s visual effects supervisor Julian Parry.
Parry, who also worked on productions like Vikings, The Terror and recently Netflix’s The King, was responsible for the creation of monsters, for which he took inspiration from real life: “As I’ve gone through life I’ve seen really weird, strange, sick things, and I thought, ‘How can I get that into this creature?'”
To create these monsters, the VFX teams relied on actors in costume which were later enhanced during post-production.
In the magazine, he revealed that the show included several of the iconic monsters Andrzej Sapkowski described in his books. The article reads: “When it comes to the monsters that Geralt will face on his journey, Parry reveals there will be a number of the books’ signature creatures including a striga (a woman transformed into a monster via a curse), a djinn (a powerful spirit) and most excitingly, the swamp-dwelling kikimore, described by Parry as an ‘aquatic arachnid'”
In The Witcher’s teaser we already had a look at the striga, which Parry describes as “one gnarly looking thing”, and the Kikimore, and fans will be relieved to hear that the uber-important Djinn from the short-story The Last Wish will also make an entrance.
The monsters will be instrumental in setting the general tone of the show. Parry said: “I definitely think it leans more towards horror. We’re definitely taking the fantasy out. I can honestly say we’re not fantastical. I mean, it’s fantastical but in a grounded horror sense.”
Working on The Witcher’s visual effects has been a gargantuan task with several VFX companies involved, including Framestore, One of Us, Cinesite, and Platige Images. Even with the monumental sets, there was a mountain of work left for Parry’s team: “We’ve got the Nilfgaard armies, which can’t exist because they are 10,000-plus of them. Same with the Temerians and the Cintrans. The armies physically can’t exist here on set”
With epic battles, magic and horrifying creatures, The Witcher aims at leaving its own distinctive mark in the post Game of Thrones world. Will the scale of the first season measure up to the fantasy masterpieces that came before? Parry certainly thinks so: “It’s really the European Lord of the Rings in a sense.”
The Witcher will be available to binge on Netflix on December 20. Meanwhile, SFX magazine also sat down with showrunner Lauren Hissrich, and leading cast members Henry Cavill and Freya Allan. Stay tuned for our coverage of their interviews which will be out soon!