The internet has been buzzing in the aftermath of Netflix and CD Projekt Red’s WitcherCon at the weekend, which brought some major news surrounding the hotly-anticipated second season of The Witcher. Understandably, there was already plenty of hype for the return of Henry Cavill’s Geralt of Rivia, but things have reached an entirely new level now we’ve been treated to a full-length trailer and much more.
The DCEU’s canonical Superman has a deep speaking voice at the best of times, but he took things to another level when it came to Geralt’s gravel-throated and often monosyllabic speech patterns. While the actor’s rough and gruff performance did draw minor criticism from certain quarters, it perfectly fits the tone of both the source material and the streaming series itself.
Cavill’s vocal delivery is also and very evidently indebted to voice performer Doug Cockle, who brought Geralt to such memorable life across The Witcher‘s video game trilogy, along with guest appearances in Soulcalibur VI and Monster Hunter: World, but the Mission: Impossible – Fallout star revealed that he stumbled upon his particular accent by accident.
In a WitcherCon interview, Cavill admitted that he planned to play Geralt using his own natural tones, but after performing a scene with his now signature mumbled drawl, he decided to adopt it for the rest of the production.
“I know it’s very similar to Doug Cockle’s amazing work. That was definitely a concern of mine. I thought, ‘Well, I don’t want to seem like I’m plagiarizing another professional’s extraordinary work’. And I had a look at it, had a listen to it, and I thought, ‘Actually they are different enough’. It’s clearly inspired by, but I did my own thing, and then I spoke to Alec and I spoke to Lauren, and they both said, ‘It’s okay, actually, if you want to do that, we can go with that, and we’ll redo the rest’.”
Geralt’s various grunts and sly one-liners have generated no shortage of memes and reaction GIFs, and it fits Cavill’s interpretation of the character down to a tee, so it was definitely the smartest move in the long run to shift his accent ever so slightly closer towards Cockle’s performance in the acclaimed console favorites when filming Netflix’s live-action version of The Witcher.