Netflix is so all-in on The Witcher as an IP that it’s hard to believe there’s only been one season of The Witcher proper. But with a season 2 looming, an anime spinoff on the way in August, and a prequel miniseries currently in production, the streamer hopes to turn author Andrzej Sapkowski’s fantasy series into its version of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And the success of the effort rests on the shoulders of writer and The Witcher series creator, Lauren Schmidt Hissrich.
Unsurprisingly, Netflix is also all-in on Hissrich. On Thursday, the company announced a new creative partnership with the writer, as its done with big names in TV like Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy. Per a news release, the multi-year agreement will see Hissrich write and produce scripted series content and other creative projects for Netflix beyond The Witcher franchise. She’ll remain in her roles on The Witcher, the animated The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf, and The Witcher: Blood Origin.
“I am so thrilled to have found my home at Netflix, and can’t wait to continue what’s been an incredibly fulfilling creative partnership. While my heart belongs to The Witcher Franchise, I equally look forward to digging in on other exciting projects for their global audience in the years to come.”
Hissrich cut her teeth in the TV writing world in a dream job: working alongside Aaron Sorkin and John Wells on The West Wing. Her other credits include ABC’s Private Practice, NBC’s Parenthood, and Starz’s Power. Her first Netflix work came with the team-up Marvel series The Defenders.
When we met Hissrich on the set of The Witcher season 1, she emphasized what was necessary to bring the grand world of Geralt to life. Part of it was understanding Sapkowski’s text on a deep level. Another was assembling a writers room full of diverse writers who could challenge the material. “It’s not written from the perspective of an American white woman,” she said at the time. “There is an entire writers room of people of different sexes, races, cultures, upbringings.”
Hissrich’s dimensional approach to fantasy material has clearly sparked at Netflix, which has locked her in to bring new projects to life.
“Lauren is a formidable talent with a strong creative vision and diverse skill-set that she brings to every project she touches,” Bela Bajaria, global head of TV for Netflix, said in a news release. “Lauren’s work on The Witcher has firmly established her as both a preeminent creator and showrunner, and we’re excited to continue working with her on future projects.”