Witcher showrunner: 'I've never mocked the books'

The Witcher on Netflix
(Image credit: Netflix)

While promoting his new project, an animated X-Men series with the working title X-Men '97, Beau DeMayo contrasted it to his former job as a writer on The Witcher, saying "some of the writers were not [fans] or actively disliked the books and games (even actively mocking the source material)," and that "You have to respect the work before you're allowed to add to its legacy."

Fans of The Witcher books who are disappointed with the Netflix adaptation's handling of its source material, as well as fans of the new adaptation who are upset that Henry Cavill is leaving the show after season 3, used this as ammunition to attack showrunner Lauren Hissrich on social media. On Instagram, where she posted a trailer for the prequel series The Witcher: Blood Origin, they called her a "Trash writer" and accused her of mocking the books.

"I've never mocked the books," Hissrich patiently replied. "The books are my entire livelihood, I have a great relationship with Mr. Sapkowski, and writers rooms are sacred and safe and — more than anything — supportive spaces. Don't believe everything you read."

After a commenter repeated Beau DeMayo's comment, Hissrich responded, "I have great respect for Beau, and the episodes he wrote! The striga episode is one of my favorites. He wrote the one where people came to Kaer Morhen and Eskel died, which had a lot of backlash, but he was brave in telling the story he wanted to tell. It takes a lot of balls to do that. I respect that."

Other writers currently working on The Witcher also responded to DeMayo's comments on Twitter. Javier Grillo-Marxuach said "the rumors are false" and that there was "no 'hate' of the source material at all." Matt D'Ambrosio responded more bluntly, calling them "a whole mess of lies from an ex-writer of the show."

Blood Origin, most of which is set 1,200 years before Geralt's time, will debut on December 23. The Witcher Season 3 will follow in summer, 2023, and will be Cavill's last as Geralt before he's replaced by Liam Hemsworth.

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and Playboy.com, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.