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Henry Cavill Was Originally Commited To The Witcher For 7 Seasons. What Went Wrong?

On Saturday, October 29, fans of Netflix's "The Witcher" received news so shocking that many are already hitting the eject button on the series altogether: Henry Cavill will no longer be playing our favorite gruff monster-slaying hero, Geralt of Rivia, from Season 4 onwards.

What is arguably one of the most lamentable aspects of Cavill's departure is that not only has he interpreted the role thus far with commendable commitment, but also, the actor's love and admiration for the world created by Andrzej Sapkowski has always inhabited every aspect of his performance. As Cavill has stated in numerous interviews (per YouTube), he was a die-hard fan of first the video games, and then the books, and his passion for the source material undeniably contributed to him embodying the character so soulfully. According to the BBC, there was a moment years ago when Cavill thought he had not gotten the role, and he said this left him feeling, in his words, "crushed."

However, since becoming Geralt, Cavill has been passionately outspoken about his steadfast dedication to playing the white-haired witcher. Due to this, no one could've guessed that Cavill would ever be willing to pass the role on to someone else.

Henry Cavill and Geralt of Rivia seemed like a match made in fantasy heaven. So, what went wrong?

Why is Cavill leaving The Witcher?

Now for the million-dollar question: Why, exactly, would Cavill choose to leave a role that means so much to him? Well, as all of the info thus far has made very evident, it is more than likely that the actor did not just wake up one day and decide to end his epic adventure as Geralt — there must be external factors at work, which have pulled him away from the role. Remember, in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter from November of 2021, Cavill showed his gratification for how busy his acting life had gotten, noting all his passion projects in a way that now feels ominous. 

In Cavill's words, "After 21 years of hard work, I have three jobs lined up. Maybe it's me, maybe it's my approach, maybe my value as a commodity increases being attached to things like 'The Witcher.' Now I can really focus on the storytelling and grow from here."

Superman duties came calling, once again

The same interview saw Cavill comitt to play Geralt for at least seven seasons. Given his passion for the role, what could cause him to walk away? Well, there's one big, blue-suited elephant in the room — another character Cavill is equally passionate about, who is about to consume his time.

The much-hyped return of Cavill's Superman in "Black Adam" has everybody talking. Arguably, the entire future of the DCEU now rests on Cavill's mighty shoulders, and whispers of a "Man of Steel 2" have grown into a deafening chorus. Between that potential sequel, as well as a seemingly ineveitable squaring off with Black Adam (Dwayne Johnson), and future Justice League opportunities, Cavill may have simply reached an impasse wherein he was forced to choose between Geralt and Superman. Unfortunately, while both characters have super powers, Cavill does not, and perhaps he simply doesn't have room in his schedule to be both the DC superhero and the legendary witcher.

Henry Cavill has already endorsed the next Geralt

At least one factor in this: The fact that Cavill only announced his departure after Gerald had been recast, combined with his deep involvement in production on "The Witcher" thus far, implies that he approves of the actor taking his spot. That actor who will be handed the responsibility of continuing the Witcher's journey will be the brother of Thor himself, Australian actor Liam Hemsworth.

In fact, Netflix only revealed the fantasy series was renewed for Season 4 the same day Hemsworth was announced as Cavill's replacement. One of the brightest sides of this situation is that Cavill is not being substituted by a complete stranger to the world of "The Witcher." In an Instagram post, Hemsworth revealed to be delighted at the opportunity to play Geralt, as he is also a fan of the fantasy franchise. In his words, "Henry Cavill has been an incredible Geralt, and I'm honoured that he's handing me the reins and allowing me to take up the White Wolf's blades for the next chapter of his adventure. Henry, I've been a fan of yours for years and was inspired by what you brought to this beloved character. I may have some big boots to fill, but I'm truly excited to be stepping into The Witcher world."

With that in mind, at least one factor in Cavill feeling okay about departing a series he was so passionate about may be, perhaps, that he feels confident in the passion of the actor taking his place. With that in mind, it still must have not been easy for Cavill to pass on the role of the White Wolf to another performer, and it may be months — or years — before the actor fully opens up about his decision.