An earlier 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. Now that we have our official Ciri casting news, Showrunner Lauren Hissrich is opening up about what went down and how she felt about it.
When speaking with the Hollywood Reporter, Hissrich had this to say about how she really feels about how the whole controversy played out:
"It boils down to a couple things. One, this property has such a passionate fanbase. I think any leak at all was going to attract this type of attention, and with any attention comes backlash to that attention. I do think that whatever information is trickling out there, there will be people responding positively to it and people responding negatively to it."
She added that she understood the immediate reaction and explained that it's part of the business, "I think that's just part of making a television show, and especially a show this big. In terms of why people responded so strongly, I think the fans really have pictures of these characters in their minds and I don't blame them for that. I get it. When I read my favorite books I certainly imagine characters a certain way."
Hissrich then opened up about how she felt "enamored" with the character and how that was scary as a writer, "There's obviously a couple lines of description of Ciri in the books and people become very enamored with their own vision of it. I think coming in as a writer and saying my vision might look different than yours is scary for fans, but truthfully I don't think it has to be. One of the things I feel most strongly about is people being afraid that we're going to strip out the cultural context of The Witcher, to remove its Slovak roots, the very thing people in Poland are proud of. That couldn't be further from the truth. What I've always wanted to do is take these Slovak stories and give them a global audience."
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. This even sparked the Polish community to speak up about a narrative that they have come to treasure.
Are you happy with the Ciri that they decided on for the upcoming show? Join in on the conversation in the comment section below, and don't forget to check out our Witcher hub to catch up on all of the latest news!