Faithfulness to Andrzej Sapkowski’s The Witcher saga has always been a hot topic of debate in discussions related to Netflix’s The Witcher live-action adaptation. Both seasons that have been released so far have had some changes from the source material, big and small.
Now, former member of the writers’ team Beau DeMayo, who penned the Nightmare of the Wolf anime as well as two episodes of The Witcher, made some comments regarding some of the attitude towards the books that he felt was present back when he was working on The Witcher.
Source material allegedly “actively disliked and mocked” by select members
During a Q&A session on his Instagram, DeMayo was answering a question about how the writing team was assembled on his new X-Men 97 animated project for Marvel. He replied that his requirement for the new writers was that “you had to be a fan” of the X-Men. Then, he delved further into his past experience of working on projects with existing fandoms:
“I’ve been on show – namely Witcher – where some of the writers were not [fans] or actively disliked the books and games (even actively mocking the source material)”, DeMayo said. “It’s a recipe for disaster and bad morale. Fandom as a litmus test checks egos, and makes all the long nights worth it. You have to respect the work before you’re allowed to add to its legacy.”
Naturally, he didn’t name any names and with several changes on the writing team between each season, the aforementioned people could be already gone. Nevertheless, that’s quite a statement.
Back in 2020, Lauren Hissrich commented on her philosophy of hiring the writers for the show and why there was a need to hire both fans and people, who are distant from the source material.
“When writing an adaptation, are the best writers always the ones most familiar with the world?”, she stated. “Yes. And equally importantly, no.”
She continued: “Let me back up. When you write an adaptation, you have to be familiar with the original work. Yes. Of course. The writers and staff on The Witcher had to read all of the books, and had to appreciate/enjoy the genre. But I specifically didn’t seek out ten Sapkowski scholars.”
To dispute DeMayo’s comments, writer and producer Matthew D’Ambrosio chose to reveal the troubling circumstances of his former colleague’s departure, implying DeMayo was “unceremoniously fired for being physically and emotionally abusive”, and painted a drastically different picture of the writers’ room as it is today:
In any case, as of October 2022 writing for Seasons 4 and 5 of The Witcher is already underway with the same team as in Season 3.
Season 3 of The Witcher is in post-production for a Summer 2023 release. The live-action prequel The Witcher: Blood Origin has been set a Christmas 2022 release. Stay tuned to Redanian Intelligence and do pop into our Discord server to join in on The Witcher conversation.