How Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk Inspired The Witcher
While Netflix's The Witcher was adapted from the book series by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, the series also looked elsewhere for inspiration. Surprisingly, The Witcher showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich revealed how much the new series was heavily inspired by the universally acclaimed 2017 Christopher Nolan movie Dunkirk. Talking to Collider, Schmidt Hissrich spoke about the challenges of telling a story featuring three characters of different ages and lifespans. "I knew that there were stories from The Last Wish that I wanted to adapt," she said. "But we're missing [Ciri]." "What's funny is I really based the timelines on the movie Dunkirk," she added. "I had gone to see it a while before working on The Witcher, and I'd read a great interview with Christopher Nolan and he was talking about these three phases of getting soldiers off of this beach." Nolan's powerful storytelling techniques pervades even on TV.
The roots of the dilemma that the Dunkirk-inspired decision helped solve are in Hissrich wanting to adapt storylines from the first Witcher book, The Last Wish, in which Ciri is absent. It makes sense to want to include both some of protagonist Geralt's formative moments, as well as Ciri as a primary character, due to her importance to the larger narrative told by The Witcher. So Hissrich simply started Geralt and Ciri's stories off at different moments in time. Dunkirk which brilliantly showed alternates between three stories. One takes place over the course of an hour, another a day, and the third a week kind of reinvented how to tell stories and not only does The Witcher taking a similar approach to Dunkirk solve the Ciri issue, but allows Geralt and Yennefer's magic-enhanced lifespans to be represented across larger periods of time, in contrast to the young Ciri, who is only ever a child through the show's first season. Additionally, this approach helps to accommodate a variety of Witcher viewers something that's also very refreshing. - 12 minutes ago