If you have been following Redanian Intelligence from the beginning, you might know that during the production of Season 1 of Netflix’s The Witcher, director Alik Sakharov was replaced by Marc Jobst and some of his scenes were reshot including the iconic Blaviken fight with Henry Cavill. For over a year it has been a quite a mystery what happened exactly and why, but now Alik Sakharov himself commented on the situation.
First, to quickly recap what happened for those who don’t know: Alik Sakharov was supposed to direct episodes 1, 2, 7 and 8, but ended up doing only the second episode in full. Marc Jobst reshot the entire Blaviken storyline for the first episode and took over the last two. Moreover, Emma Appleton and Packy Lee replaced Millie Brady and Shane Attwooll as Renfri and Nohorn respectively.
A few weeks earlier, we asked showrunner Lauren Hissrich about this in her impromptu Q&A:
Alik himself hadn’t really talked about his work in The Witcher before, but he was finally asked about it in his recent inteview with Forbes Russia. Here’s what he had to say:
Forbes: “I’ll be honest, I was blown away by your work in The Witcher.”
Alik Sakharov: “Really? It’s the opposite for me. I judge my work quite critically there.”
AS: “You see, in my perception, Eastern-European literature has a completely different pace. It is no coincidence that Andrzej Sapkowski has so many storylines and characters. The producers set the task of setting the adaptation at an action pace and filling it with colorful special effects. That was their vision. My vision was very different and I tried to convey it to them, giving my arguments. Unfortunately, I was not considered convincing enough, so I decided to leave the project.”
Forbes: “Sorry to hear that. During my interview with Henry Cavill, he said you were one of the few directors who has the right approach to actors. You explain things softly, but very clearly.”
AS: “Glad to hear it. By the way, Henry Cavill is the best thing in The Witcher, in my opinion. He absolutely nailed the role. Moreover, he is a very flexible actor who is able to listen and learn. I sincerely hope that he has many interesting and good projects ahead.”
This sounds like a classic Hollywod story about creative differences that we’ve heard about countless times, but it would be interesting to see “The Sakharov Cut” one day. Speaking of which, here’s an article from last year where you can get a glimpse of the Blaviken fight by Alik Sakharov.