Netflix’s popular fantasy show The Witcher recently made headlines for an unexpected reason; the streaming giant simultaneously announced a fourth season and that lead actor Henry Cavill would be leaving his role as the beloved Geralt after the current season. Cavill will be replaced with Liam Hemsworth, who auditioned for the role during the show’s initial casting and was one of the front-runners for Geralt.
Witcher fans were shocked by Cavill’s departure, particularly given his obvious love for the source material and commitment to the character. Before casting had even gone underway, Cavill was an outspoken fan of the Witcher video games and was so eager to play the part of Geralt that he begged his agent to get him a meeting with the show’s creators before casting had even begun.
After landing the part, he read the entire Witcher book series and became an even bigger fan, advocating for a show that followed author Andrzej Sapkowski’s vision. Cavill’s love for the source material might have been to his detriment; a report alleges that the show’s producers didn’t agree with Cavill’s ideas for his character and the writers actively disliked the books and games. While it’s possible his return to the DCEU as Spiderman is Cavill’s main reason for leaving the show, fans can’t help but speculate that discord behind the scenes led to his abrupt departure from the series.
The show’s creator Lauren Schmidt Hissrich has planned out seven seasons for The Witcher and Cavill has previously said he was committed to her vision (though he did stipulate as long as the show honored Sapkowski’s books), but how does Hemsworth’s casting fit into the show’s future?
What does Liam Hemsworth’s casting mean?
Hemsworth was considered for Geralt early on in the casting process and is obviously still excited about the opportunity to play the Witcher himself, but does his passion for the role matter? Well, not according to a large amount of the show’s fans. A Change.org petition to keep Cavill and replace the show’s writers has gathered over 160,000 signatures as of this writing. And while a petition won’t necessarily change a decision this big, it is indicative of how fans really feel about the recasting.
Viewers of the show overwhelmingly disagree with Netflix’s decision to recast Geralt and the internet’s overall sentiment is to just cancel the show. The showrunners obviously saw something in Hemsworth and must believe he can bring something to the role, but many fans simply don’t want The Witcher without Cavill.
Netflix seems to think the show is worth continuing or they wouldn’t have bothered recasting Geralt. The show has been popular so far, but it remains to be seen if the seven seasons will continue as planned. Hemsworth certainly has big shoes to fill, as Cavill’s portrayal of Geralt was a big reason for the show’s popularity and Hemsworth will need to bring his own spin to The Witcher without alienating the show’s existing fans. It looks like as of now, The Witcher is going ahead with its planned seven seasons, but Geralt’s recasting proves that nothing is set in stone.
You can catch up on all seasons of The Witcher on Netflix now.