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SYFY WIRE The Witcher

'The Witcher' boss fires back at concerns over Netflix's plan for kid-friendly spinoff series

By Josh Weiss

The Witcher brought out the big guns at the tail end of Netflix's three-hour-long TUDUM event this past weekend. In addition to a collection of first look clips from Season 2, the official confirmation of a third season renewal, and a tiny sneak peek at Blood Origin, series showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich also showed up to announce a family-friendly animated spinoff.

This ultimately drew some raised eyebrows from a fan on Twitter, who pointed out that the sprawling fantasy mythos crafted by author Andrzej Sapkowski is known for being dark, brooding, scary, and above all, violent.

Schmidt Hissrich didn't contest this and even went so far as to call the decision "controversial." However, she explained that "the moral dilemmas and ethical grayness that adults love in this universe can be extrapolated to stories that kids in this chaotic world desperately need, and could benefit from. I say this as the mom of an 8-year-old and a 10-year-old. They've begged me to watch the show. They can't. It's not appropriate, too mature and dark, as you say."

She continued: "If I can sit with them and watch a version they love, one they can laugh at, one they feel 'gets them' and their small but meaningful place in the world — but that can also serve as a foundation from which to talk about big topics, racism, sexism, what it means to be a monster? And how we can fight back against those bleak black holes of humanity, so everyone knows there's a place for them? Then I'm in. And yes, I hope this extends the brand viewership. I love The Witcher world. And I want more people to love it, too, no matter their age. Don't you?"

Read the full thread below:

Reverse engineering a beloved and adult-oriented property for younger viewers is nothing radical. Paramount hopes to introduce children to the Star Trek universe via the animated Prodigy show coming to Paramount+ and Nickelodeon at the end of October. We'll also direct you to the 1990s when Ghostbusters, The Mask, and Beetlejuice — films that were clearly marketed to grown-ups — were turned into Saturday morning cartoons.

Season 2 of The Witcher hits Netflix Friday, Dec. 17.

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