The Witcher Showrunner Defends The Controversial Decision To Recast Henry Cavill As Geralt Of Rivia, Sparking Outrage Among Fans.
The Witcher showrunner, Lauren Schmidt Hissrich, defends the decision to recast Geralt of Rivia, played by Henry Cavill, and explains why the show will continue after season 3.
Henry Cavill’s portrayal of Geralt of Rivia in Netflix’s fantasy adaptation, The Witcher, has received critical acclaim over the first two seasons. Therefore, it came as a surprise when Cavill announced his departure from the show after season 3, with Liam Hemsworth replacing him for season 4. While an official explanation has not been provided, reports suggest Cavill’s departure may be due to the show deviating from Andrzej Sapkowski’s source material.
In a recent interview with Total Film (via Slash Film), showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich elaborates on the choice to recast Geralt and continue the show beyond season 3. Hissrich highlights the abundance of untold stories within The Witcher universe as the primary reason for their decision. Despite the departure of Cavill, the rest of the cast and crew remain passionate about the show, leading them to opt for a new actor. Hissrich’s full explanation is as follows:
“We had the choice to have Geralt exit and to end the show. [But] that’s not something that we were willing to do. There’s just too many stories left to tell. If we replaced Geralt with another Witcher, we would be going fully away from the books, and I don’t think that’s what anyone wanted either. […] We’re all excited about Liam coming in. He’s got enormous shoes to fill, but also has a lot of energy and a lot of excitement for it. It’s obviously a brand-new chapter for us. And there’s a lot of feelings involved. But at the end of the day, we love what we’re doing. So we’re gonna keep going.”
Although the recasting of Geralt has sparked controversy, showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich provides a compelling rationale for the decision. The primary objective of The Witcher is to adapt Andrzej Sapkowski’s book series, which will not be completed after season 3. The show has already adapted The Last Wish, Sword of Destiny, and will now tackle Time of Contempt in season 3. Several more books, such as Baptism of Fire, The Tower of the Swallow, The Lady of the Lake, and Season of Storms, remain to be adapted.
Replacing Geralt with another Witcher was not a viable option due to Geralt’s central role in the story. In the era of franchises and existing intellectual properties, it is not uncommon for a character to be portrayed by multiple actors. Geralt exists independently in Sapkowski’s books and is voiced by Doug Cockle in the video game adaptations. Liam Hemsworth will be the latest actor to step into the role of Geralt, starting with The Witcher season 4. If Hemsworth approaches the character with the same dedication as Cavill, the show should continue to captivate audiences despite any discontent among fans.