The Internet is still reeling over the news that Henry Cavill won’t be playing Geralt of Rivia after season three of Netflix’s The Witcher. Hell, we’re still trying to wrap our brains around it. While we have no hard feelings toward Cavill’s replacement, Liam Hemsworth, The Witcher won’t be the same without Henry Cavill.
Since the news broke, though, fans have been furiously speculating about the reason for Cavill’s surprising departure from the show. Cavill expressed his love for the character in past interviews, so many believe there is a good reason for him to walk away from from the show after playing Geralt for three seasons.
1. Cavill’s return to the DCEU will pose scheduling conflicts
We’ll start with one of the most widely-circulated theories: Henry Cavill is leaving The Witcher to rejoin the DC Extended Universe as Superman.
Not even a week before Cavill announced his departure from The Witcher, he officially confirmed the he would be reprising his role as Superman in the DCEU. The news came after a mid-credits scene in DC’s newest film, Black Adam, showed Cavill as Superman for the first time since 2019’s Justice League.
Cavill took to Instagram after the announcement to write, “The dawn of hope renewed. Thank you for your patience, it will be rewarded. The image you see on this post, and what you saw in Black Adam, are just a very small taste of things to come.”
Acting in a superhero movie is no small feat, especially when you’re playing a beloved character like Clark Kent. Cavill returning to the DCEU as Superman could have posed scheduling conflicts with The Witcher‘s upcoming seasons, forcing him to choose between the two.
2. Creative differences
Another major theory making its rounds on the Internet is the idea that Henry Cavill left The Witcher dealing with creative differences from the show’s writers and showrunners.
It’s well-known that Cavill is a massive fan of the Witcher video games and books by Andrzej Sapkowski. A year after the show was greenlit by Netflix, Cavill was actively campaigning for the role of Geralt. Cavill wanted Netflix’s Geralt to be as close to the book version of the character as possible and has said as much in interviews.
In an interview with Hardware Zone during the season two press tour, Cavill explained how he campaigned for show Geralt to have a closer relationship to the character in the books, which is far more emotionally complicated. Rather than being a “grumpy snowman,” Cavill said he pushed for Geralt to sound more intellectual, philosophical, and have a more emotional side.
“It’s important for me to have the character be three-dimensional,” Cavill said in a 2021 interview. “And it’s tricky to do, as I was saying earlier, because there’s a certain vision and there’s a certain set storyline and plot. And so, it was about me trying to find Geralt’s place within that. All of my asks and requests were along the lines of just being faithful to the source material.”
According to a former producer for The Witcher, Beau DeMayo, that sentiment was not shared by the writers and showrunners.
In an Instagram Q&A, DeMayo said, “I’ve been on show – namely The Witcher – where some of the writers were not or actively disliked the books and games (even actively mocking the source material). It’s a recipe for disaster and bad morale.”
Good for Henry Cavill?
While we’re but mere spectators to what goes on behind the scenes of major productions (if you can even call us that), it’s easy to wonder if Henry Cavill was fed up with the writers’ and showrunners’ disregard for Sapkowski’s original story.
When you’ve got an actor who is a passionate, die-hard fan of an adaptation’s source material and a former producer talking about the showrunners’ purposeful deviation from the said source material, it’s not hard to connect the dots.
Being the book nerds we are, it’s all too easy to understand Cavill’s frustration with writers not respecting the source material. If Cavill really did leave the show because of creative differences, we say good for you, Henry.
No matter your thoughts on The Witcher show as a whole, we can all agree that we couldn’t have asked for a better actor to play Geralt of Rivia than Henry Cavill. We’re sad to see him go, but we’ve at least got one more season with him before the curtains close on his portrayal of the character.
Season three of Netflix’s The Witcher is set to drop next summer, though no official release date has been confirmed yet. For now, you can catch up on the first two seasons and keep checking back here for more coverage on The Witcher season three.