A recent leak sparked a rumor that Netflix's The Witcher series was looking to cast a woman of colour as the role for Ciri. Since then, the showrunner herself took a temporary leave of absence from Twitter and a conflicting report has emerged stating that the casting call is sticking true to the source material.
Though variants from source material is nothing new, fans of The Witcher novels - which is what the series is based upon - instantly took up arms against the show over the rumors. Many called for a ban of the show, while others simply voiced their displeasure. Though the books do mention one line regarding her "pale skin" and ashen hair, other fans are just excited to see Ciri come to life in another medium.
Unlike previous casting deviations, the source material in question here comes from Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski and the wild success of his tale - in no small part due to CD Projekt RED's video game adaptation - has become a creative mark of pride. Because of this many native Polish gamers are speaking out about the alleged casting direction, some even calling it a "molestation" of their culture.
The people of Poland want our story told the way it was written. You foreigners that want something different can change another story. We’ve waited too long for this as a people to have it molested by foreigners.— Jim (@LFCKPK) September 13, 2018
Westerners are trying to destroy our culture. Never trust western media and stop supporting their propaganda. They will disrespect your culture and then they will call you a racist for defending it. #Netflix #Witcher #witchernetflix #Ciri pic.twitter.com/FIEgRwfdUf— Ręce Boga 🇵🇱 (@Slava_Narodowi) September 9, 2018
Slavic culture finally gets a chance at some good representation in the West that goes beyond the tired tropes that Hollywood has thrown at us for decades and y'all decide to mess with that by making Ciri blatantly non-Slavic? #Witcher #netflix #ciri— Godfrey (@satansdankuncle) September 8, 2018
Other criticism took a much less "culturally concerned" tone and instead turned down right hostile. We're not going to share those because the Internet is full of hate already and many of the responses have been deliberate 'troll bait', but the topic of cultural direction is one that has lit a passion in many gamers and one that the showrunner herself has promised to take seriously.
Given her previous promise that they were going to be working closely with the source material in the books themselves, paired with the fact that all major decisions will have the author himself involved, the Netflix series does show a lot of promise.
But for as many people concerned about the potential casting choice, there are others that are just excited to experience this amazing tale in a new way. Rooster Teeth's Alanah Pearce was one of many to make a casual mention of the alleged creative direction from a more neutral standpoint:
I’m a HUGE fan of The Witcher. Ciri is my favorite character in the games, and I’ve been working on a cosplay of her for 6+ months.
That said: I don’t, at all, care if she looks or acts different in the Netflix series. I’m not looking to see the same story in a different format. //t.co/3BF5n91ipT— Alanah Pearce (@Charalanahzard) September 9, 2018
What about you? Where do you fall on the reactionary spectrum? Sound off with your dream picks for Ciri and the rest of the cast in the comment section below. There was even a petition, for anyone interested.
To see our own fun picks, you can check out the three women we'd love to see portray a more mature Ciri right here.