When the major studios option a franchise, that doesn’t mean much. It just means they paid someone for the privilege to say “we call dibbs!” Screenwriters might be hired, talent might be courted, directors might be talked to. But in the end, an optioned property is just as likely to sit on a shelf as it is to become a movie. That’s Hollywood for you. But Netflix isn’t exactly Hollywood. So when they announce they’re producing a Witcher series, I’m inclined to think it carries more weight than the usual videogame adaptation announcement.
Consider that Netflix dumped a boatload of money into their international Marco Polo production. I suspect they see The Witcher as having a similar international appeal, but this time with some Game of Thrones cachet because it’s fantasy instead of boring ol’ history. They furthermore announced the participation of a couple of partners that suggests money is already moving beyond just licensing deals. For instance, this Polish effects studio and these guys who helped shepherd a Tom Cruise mummy movie to the big screen and The Expanse to the small screen. Seems to me a Witcher series might actually be happening.
For Geralt, I’d like to suggest anyone but Vin Diesel.