The Witcher Director Explains Why He Left The Show

The first season of Netflix's The Witcher was incredibly successful, but it did undergo a few changes on its way to the small screen, and that included a shift in directors. Alik Sakharov was originally going to direct episodes 1, 2, 7, and 8 of season 1, but only ended up directing episode 2 in full. Marc Jobst would reshoot significant parts of episode 1 and would take over 7 and 8, and up until now, we didn't really know why he departed. Showrunner Lauren S. Hissrich previously commented on his departure, but we finally heard from Sakharov in a new interview, and he broke down what he thought of his work on season 1 and why he ended up leaving (via Redanian Intelligence).

In an interview with Forbes Russia, he was told they were blown away by his work on season 1, to which Sakhavrov replied “Really? It’s the opposite for me. I judge my work quite critically there.”

When asked why he felt that way, Sakharov talked about the different points of view regarding the approach and vision for the show, and that conflict was the main reason why he left.

“You see, in my perception, Eastern-European literature has a completely different pace," Sakharov said. "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.”

While he wasn't in love with his own work on the show, he was a huge fan of Henry Cavill and had nothing but kind words for the actor.

"By the way, Henry Cavill is the best thing in The Witcher, in my opinion," Sakharov said. "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.”

You can find the official description for Netflix's The Witcher below.

“Based on the best-selling fantasy series of books, The Witcher is an epic tale of fate and family. Geralt of Rivia, a solitary monster hunter, struggles to find his place in a world where people often prove more wicked than beasts,” Netflix said. “But when destiny hurtles him toward a powerful sorceress, and a young princess with a dangerous secret, the three must learn to navigate the increasingly volatile Continent together.”


Henry Cavill (Geralt of Rivia), Anya Chalotra (Yennefer), Freya Allan (Ciri), Jodhi May (Calanthe), Björn Hlynur Haraldsson (Eist), Adam Levy (Mousesack), MyAnna Buring (Tissaia), Mimi Ndiweni (Fringilla), Therica Wilson-Read (Sabrina), Emma Appleton (Renfri), Eamon Farren (Cahir), Joey Batey (Jaskier), Lars Mikkelsen (Stregobor), Royce Pierreson (Istredd), Maciej Musiał (Sir Lazlo), Wilson Radjou-Pujalte (Dara), and Anna Shaffer as Triss.

The Witcher is available to stream on Netflix now, and you can check out more from our Witcher coverage right here. You can also hit me up on Twitter @MattAguilarCB for all things Witcher!