The first time the internet saw DCU Superman star Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia in Netflix’s adaptation of the witcherthis howled with a collective laugh on the terrible wig. Four years later, fans are losing their minds as Hollywood’s first himbo will not return to the role after the end of season three. An obvious explanation for why is that Cavill signed on to shoot a new Superman movie, but fans think the real reason Cavill is leaving is because he’s tired of fighting Netflix to keep the witcher faithful to its literary source.
The startling news of Cavill’s impending departure was shared yesterday in a report by Netflix which also announced Liam Hemsworth from hunger games the celebrity would reprise the role in season four. “As with the greatest of literary characters, I pass the torch with respect for the time spent playing Geralt and with excitement to see Liam’s perspective on this most fascinating and nuanced man,” Cavill said. “Liam, my good sir, this character has such wonderful depth, take the opportunity to dive in and see what you can find.”
While many were disappointed that The man from UNCLE would no longer be caught growling “Cockroach” to horses in future seasons, Witcher fans took the news particularly badly. Subreddits for Netflix books, games and series have exploded with incredulity, frustrationand memeswhile conspiracy theories have made the rounds on Twitter that Cavill had been more or less forced into creative differences with a production that sometimes took generous liberties with the original novels by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. Some parts of the Witcher fandom has always had a toxic relationship with the seriesfurious at some casting choices and plot deviations, and Cavill’s departure is now seen as validation of all the criticism they’ve ever had.
To back up their theories, fans point to a breadcrumb quotes from previous interviews by Cavill about his desire to keep Netflix’s Geralt true to the one originally put on paper in the pages of fantasy magazine Fantastic in 1986. Less than a year ago, the actor said he told the Hollywood journalist he was “absolutely” committed to the show’s seven-season plan “as long as we can continue to tell great stories that honor [author Andrzej] Sapkowski’s work.”
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During the media tour surrounding the release of season two last year, Cavill spoke Many times about campaigning to bring more three-dimensionality to Geralt, noting that in addition to being a brutal monster slayer, he’s also wise, thoughtful, and a “amateur philosopher.” “This season, I really wanted to make sure that we were more accurately portraying the Geralt of the book and seeing him speak more,” he said. Total movie at the time. “I pushed really, really hard for this.”
Then there were showrunner Lauren Hissrich’s own comments about Cavill’s preparation for season two. “A lot of the notes he was sending me were about Geralt’s dialogue – could he, first of all, say more,” she says. Told Hollywood journalist. “Everyone came out of the first season laughing and loving Geralt’s wrath. But Henry was saying that when you read the books, you spend a lot of time inside Geralt’s head. So how can we put that on page?” What about Cavill’s aspirations for the future of the series? “I’m a huge fan of the books and I stick with them, and it’s about making sure the story takes place without too many diversions or secondary events which come to blur the cards”, he declared during a Netflix Geek Talk Last year. Adding fuel to the fire was a recent interview with Beau DeMayoa former producer on the witcher who is running now X-Men ’97 on Disney+, where he said some writers “actively dislike” and even “mock” the source material.
Some fans took away from these soundbites that while Hissrich focused on making the show the way she wanted, Cavill was the only one interested in trying to keep it grounded in the original version of the characters. This comes in the context of long Reddit threads like this one where fans detailed all the differences between season two and the books, fearing that season three, which won’t air until summer 2023, will include even bigger departures.
While the theory was compelling when it crumbled into a few viral tweets, the show’s place within the larger fandom has always been more complicated than that. Hissrich was temporarily kicked off Twitter ahead of the release of the first season when racist fans demanded Netflix to only leave a white woman play the lead role of Ciri, Geralt’s adopted daughter. Then there were those who were on the edge of fandom with no knowledge or interest in the grimdark fantasy series until Netflix spent tens of millions to bring it to life. “Book purists hurt new fan experience” wrote a user on the show’s subreddit last year. Then there are CD Projekt Red’s fans Witcher video game trilogy which takes huge liberties with storytelling and has effectively created its own parallel lore.
That Cavill is an on-set purist is almost irrelevant. Her role in season two clearly didn’t prevent some of the narrative departures that fans took the biggest issue with. But he was clearly the glue that held the show’s disparate fandoms together. The fact that he loves PC games and painting war hammer miniatures in his spare time, and was obviously a huge fan of Sapkowski’s books, gave him enormous credibility on the street, even with the worst diehards Witcher Fans. Normies and Newcomers loved him too, not because he is a pedant when it comes to tradition, but because he is a charismatic presence who ultimately managed to combine tenderness, cruelty and a wit morbid in something deeper than his own. Halloween Spirit Costume initially proposed. “I think the glue that held it together was really Henry Cavill as Geralt,” said the former My box lead critic Harper Jay said during a VG 2018 chat about the first season.
With that glue gone, the witcher season four has its work cut out with the circumstances surrounding Cavill’s departure at every turn. Whether Hemsworth is up to it or not, the news at least comes with season three already wrapped. Fans will have one last chance to step back into this world with Cavill as their anchor. I’m sure everything will be fine, and not stoked more conspiracy speculation about creative differences.
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