Creative Differences Explain Alik Sakharov's Exit

At the time, the news that director Alik Sakharov (Ozark, Game of Thrones, House of Cards) was exiting The Witcher had been puzzling. From being slated to direct half of the first season’s episodes, Sakharov wound up only directing the second episode. Any materials shot for the other episodes, including the epic fight in Blaviken in the show’s premiere, were re-shot by Mark Jobst.

In a recent interview with Forbes Russia, Sakharov revealed some details as to his exit, primarily citing creative differences regarding his vision, and what the showrunners wanted. Where Sakharov wanted to focus more on the fight, the higher-ups wanted more special effects and a faster-paced energy to the scenes.

In my perception, Eastern-European literature has a completely different pace. 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.

Inevitably, it led to Sakharov parting ways with the project, though he had nothing but good things to say about Henry Cavill and what he brought to the role, and the feeling is mutual, as Cavill appreciates Sakharov’s approach to filming.

What are your thoughts about Sakharov’s vision for season one? Let us know in the comments below or in our forum!

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Kelsey Johnston
Author: Kelsey JohnstonWebsite: https://TheWitcher.tvEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Kelsey Johnston is the owner of She also contributes to,, and Black Belt in puns and gif reactions.

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