Henry Cavill’s departure from The Witcher may mean that the show will not have its originally planned 7-season run. Henry Cavill’s premature exit from Netflix’s The Witcher shocked audiences, as did the follow-up announcement that Liam Hemsworth would be replacing him as Geralt of Rivia. Upon reflection, it perhaps shouldn’t have been a surprise that Cavill would decide to depart The Witcher, as it coincides with his return as Superman in the DCU. This news does bring into question The Witcher’s future on Netflix, which was originally planned for a total of seven seasons and has, since its release, spawned several spinoffs, including the prequel series The Witcher: Blood Origin, as well as an animated The Witcher movie. Netflix is known for axing shows sooner than anticipated, however, and the news of Cavill’s departure may affect The Witcher’s renewal status in the future.
As recently as last year, Cavill publicly proclaimed his intention to stay with The Witcher for a total of seven seasons, as was showrunner Lauren Hissrich’s intention at the time (via Screen Rant). While Cavill did stipulate that he wanted to ensure the show would continue to honor The Witcher author Andrzej Sapkowski’s books, it was clear he was committed to the project overall, as Cavill pursued the role of Geralt with much enthusiasm. The public outcry after the announcement of Cavill’s departure proves that much of The Witcher’s popularity hinges on his portrayal of Geralt, calling into question whether Liam Hemsworth will be able to hold his own in the leading role and if it will be enough for The Witcher to continue past season 4. The fact that Henry Cavill’s replacement has already been announced does suggest that both The Witcher and Netflix are still committed to keeping the show going beyond the fourth season, and indicates that there is a planned continuity they want to keep in place. Regardless, Hemsworth faces a big challenge now, as the future of The Witcher on Netflix rests largely on his shoulders.
Geralt’s Recasting Is Good News For The Witcher
That The Witcher has chosen to recast Geralt – and has decided to announce it even before season 3 has been released – shows that there is a planned strategy in place for the show. Geralt will likely continue to be the main focus of the series, and announcing the recasting now gives The Witcher’s audience a chance to get used to the idea of another actor in the lead role before the overhaul occurs. The Witcher could have just as easily decided to switch its narrative focus to another character like Ciri, but the early announcement of Liam Hemsworth’s casting proves that there has been real forethought as to what The Witcher should pursue moving forward. That is good news for the series’ narrative continuity, as plot threads set up early in the show can still be continued, rather than suddenly needing to be dropped.
The Witcher’s Fate Is Up To Hemsworth
Liam Hemsworth has big shoes to fill. Henry Cavill’s performance as Geralt is often praised as the best part of The Witcher, and the change will certainly take some getting used to. Both Cavill and Hemsworth have an impressive list of acting credits to their name, but they approach their various characters in very different ways, and both actors carry themselves differently as well. Hemsworth will undoubtedly put his own spin on Geralt’s character, but only time will tell whether he’ll be convincing enough in the role for audiences to respond to the change positively.
Netflix is well-known for prematurely canceling shows, even some based on large IPs, so it remains to be seen whether Hemsworth will be able to carry the weight of the show as gracefully as Cavill. If, as can be surmised from the recasting announcement, Netflix’s The Witcher is carrying on with the seven-season narrative plan, it’s up to Liam Hemsworth to prove that the show is worth continuing without Henry Cavill in the lead role. Actors do not get cast in roles as prominent as this for no reason, however, so audiences must trust that The Witcher showrunners have seen something in Hemsworth that’s made him worthy of embodying Geralt of Rivia for the long haul.