Why is Henry Cavill leaving The Witcher?

Henry Cavill is exiting The Witcher after its upcoming third season.

In an announcement last weekend, Netflix revealed that Cavill will be replaced by Hunger Games alum Liam Hemsworth in the role of Geralt of Rivia, with the latter set to make his debut appearance as the titular monster-hunter in the show’s already-renewed fourth season. But why is Cavill leaving the hit fantasy drama?

Liam Hemsworth as Gale Hawthorne in Hunger Games
Liam Hemsworth as Gale Hawthorne in Hunger Games

Did Henry Cavill choose Superman over The Witcher?

Netflix didn’t offer an explanation about Cavill’s impending departure from The Witcher, but a lot fans are convinced that it has something to do with the actor’s return to the role of Superman.

A few days before Netflix announced Cavill’s exit from the series, the actor confirmed his comeback as DC Universe’s Superman ― a role he first played in Zack Snyder’s 2013 film Man of Steel and reprised in 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, 2017’s Justice League, 2021’s Zack Snyder’s Justice League, and most recently, this year’s Black Adam. A lot of fans believe that Cavill couldn’t do both roles, so he chose Superman over The Witcher because the former reportedly offers a much bigger paycheck than the latter.

Henry Cavill as Superman
Henry Cavill as Superman

Is Henry Cavill leaving The Witcher over creative differences?

But because it’s very much impossible for actors to juggle a TV series with films, some fans think that there’s another reason aside from money that pushed Cavill to leave The Witcher.

Based on the actor’s past interviews, it looks like Cavill decided to depart the series over creative differences. According to Screen Rant, Cavill ― a huge fan of The Witcher games and books written by Andrzej Sapkowski ― wants to work on of a faithful live-action adaptation. But the creative team behind the Netflix series has significantly deviated from the source material – something that might have displeased the actor.

“As far as the preparation goes, coming into this, I wanted the character to have a closer relationship to the character in the books, I wanted him to be more book accurate,” Cavill said of how he likes to portray Geralt in an interview with HardwareZone.com in December 2021. “And so it was more to do with making sure and campaigning for him to sound more intellectual, more philosophical, and to have an emotional side as well, rather than just be a grumpy snowman. Every day I was pushing this stuff as far as prep goes…At the present, he can be a little uncommunicative. And I’m obviously working on that.”

In the same month, Cavill stressed how much he’d like the show to stay loyal to the books. “I’m a huge fan of the books and staying loyal to them, and it’s about making sure that story happens without too much in the way of diversions or side things going on to muddy the waters,” the actor said in an interview on The Witcher: Unlocked.

Though Cavill has been very vocal about his desire for The Witcher to remain faithful to the books, it has pretty apparent that the show’s creative team doesn’t share the same vision with the actor. For instance, The Witcher season 2 finale went in a very different direction to Sapkowski’s novels with the introduction of the Deathless Mother – a villain that doesn’t exist in the books at all.

And even though The Witcher season 3 has yet to premiere, there have already been signs that it will move the show further away from the novels, including Robbie Amell’s casting as what seems to be a major elf character who doesn’t exist in the source material.

The Witcher season 3 release date

The Witcher season 3 doesn’t have a release date yet, but the new season is expected to premiere on Netflix in mid-2023.

Henry Cavill’s upcoming projects

Henry Cavill as Sherlock Holmes in the Enola Holmes film series
Henry Cavill as Sherlock Holmes in the Enola Holmes film series

Aside from the upcoming The Witcher season 3 and yet-to-be-announced Superman movies for DC Universe, Cavill will be next seen in Enola Holmes 2, which is coming out on November 4th on Netflix; and spy film Argylle, which is set to be released in theaters sometime in 2023. He, along with Eiza González, will also co-lead the World War II action spy movie The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare from Guy Ritchie and Top Gun: Maverick producer Jerry Bruckheimer.

Sources: Netflix, Screen Rant, Forbes

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