Did Henry Cavill leave ‘The Witcher’ to be Superman?

Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill) in a black shirt and white hair
Photo via Netflix

Some extremely sad news recently came to light for fans of Henry Cavill, Superman, and The Witcher, or perhaps all three. A few weeks ago, an extensive report shone a spotlight on James Gunn and Peter Safran’s vision for the future of the DC Universe under their leadership, which not only involved the axing of Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman 3, but would also see long-time franchise stars like Henry Cavill as Superman and Ben Affleck as Batman permanently ousted from their roles.

Gunn and Cavill have since addressed those rumors and cleared up the star’s position in the universe, and to the dismay of fans around the world, Henry Cavill will not be returning to his role as Superman, despite having his reprisal teased in Black Adam’s post-credits scene just last month.

This revelation freshly reopens wounds for fans of The Witcher, who have spent the last couple of months coming to terms with the fact that Cavill is being replaced by Liam Hemsworth on the Netflix series. Folks who sit at the cross-section of Witcher and DC fandoms at the very least found a speck of solace in the fact that Cavill would once again be donning the red cape, but even that prospect is now dead in the water.

The question that remains for devastated fans of both franchises is, did Henry Cavill actually hang up his Geralt wig for the sake of dusting off the blue and red spandex? Here’s what we know.

The timing of Henry Cavill’s announcements

henry cavill superman
Image via Warner Bros.

While Henry Cavill never explicitly stated that he was departing The Witcher so that he could play Superman again, the timing of the two pieces of news surrounding the star’s future projects is a factor that likely shouldn’t be overlooked. 

News of Cavill exiting Netflix’s The Witcher broke on Oct. 29, after the former Geralt of Rivia took to social media to share his exit and wish his replacement, Liam Hemsworth well in the role. Black Adam was released in theaters one week prior, on Oct. 21. 

In Cavill’s Instagram post confirming his exit as the DC Universe’s Superman, he also states that he was asked to break the news about his return (before Safran and Gunn took the reins of the studio) in October, which offers up a somewhat damning timeline of events that one casting decision may have played into the other. 

Of course, given that Cavill is the star of one of Netflix’s most popular franchises, conversations about a potential exit would have likely been quite extensive and taken a lot more than that singular week between Black Adam’s release and Cavill’s Witcher departure. Not to mention negotiations with DC as well as signing on Liam Hemsworth to replace him.

However, if reports about The Witcher writer’s room’s attitude towards the source material are to be believed, Cavill’s exit to take on the Superman role may have proved serendipitous for the actor.

Creative differences may have caused Henry Cavill’s ‘Witcher’ departure

The Witcher series and game split image
Images via Netflix/CD Projekt

As early as November last year, Henry Cavill was optimistic about his future in The Witcher, even saying he was committed to a seven-season plan for the show. However, close to a year later, reports from an X-Men ‘97 writer previously involved in the show emerged, and apparently, the writers working on The Witcher actively dislike the source material. The Netflix series’ showrunner would go on to deny these rumors weeks later, but by that point, the damage had already been done.  

Seeing as Cavill is a fan of both Andrzej Sapowski’s books and the video games that took inspiration from them, this may have caused something of a rift in the production of The Witcher, leading to Cavill no longer wanting to be involved in the show. Returning to the previous point of the timing surrounding both Cavill’s DC and Witcher announcements, it would seem that Cavill found himself an out, by way of returning to his other iconic role. Alas, this would not come to pass – and now we don’t get to see him in either project.