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The Witcher Showrunner's Candid Thoughts About Henry Cavill's Exit

Fans of the expansive fantasy franchise "The Witcher" are still reeling over the news that Henry Cavill is departing the role of protagonist Geralt of Rivia in the Netflix series based upon it. After Cavill's final outing in the part of Geralt in the show's upcoming third season, the character will be played by Liam Hemsworth in Season 4, a casting choice that has fans divided (to say the least). An online Change.org petition to restore Cavill to the role has almost 275,000 signatures as of this writing, and many viewers of the show are understandably skeptical of recasting a show's main character mid-story.

But no online petition is more powerful than the Man of Steel, and Cavill is most likely exiting "The Witcher" due to his newly reinvigorated commitment to playing Superman in the DC Universe (though some fans believe it's because of his displeasure with the direction of "The Witcher"). Thus, fans won't be seeing him again in the role of Geralt any time soon.

You can reasonably assume that "Witcher" showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich also wishes Geralt didn't have to be recast. Still, in a recent interview, she spoke optimistically and enthusiastically about the change and what it means for the future of the series.

Lauren Schmidt Hissrich says Liam Hemsworth brings new energy to the show

Lauren Schmidt Hissrich, executive producer and showrunner behind "The Witcher" and the upcoming prequel miniseries "The Witcher: Blood Origin," spoke to Decider about her show's lead casting change during a press event for the show.

While hardcore fans of "The Witcher" are upset about Liam Hemsworth replacing Henry Cavill (in addition to complaints about the miniseries's apparent departures from its source material), Hissrich isn't worried about a disruption of the show's creative momentum. Instead, she says she sees it as a positive. "You know, I will say that change is also energy," Hissrich said. "Change also brings about different energy. So, to us, that's just part of continuing to roll forward into this franchise."

More open-minded fans of "The Witcher" might understand what she means and will look forward to seeing exactly what kind of new energy this admittedly huge change will bring to the show (and even most of the more close-minded ones will probably still check it out anyway).

She's not worried about viewers leaving the franchise

Recasting Geralt of Rivia wasn't the only subject addressed during Lauren Schmidt Hissrich's Decider interview. With not just the upcoming third and fourth seasons of "The Witcher" and "The Witcher: Blood Origin" on the way but also various animated projects like "The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf," and even a family-friendly animated series coming in the near future, the "Witcher" franchise is growing incredibly fast, and Hissrich also spoke on how she sees the series fitting into the fantasy genre that so many fans love.

One of the things that we believe strongly ... is that fantasy is actually for everyone," Hissrich said. "There have been points in time, in history, that it's a very narrow audience. I think all of these different access points, if you will, all that does is make people fall in love with the genre more, which is what we want."

She's also not worried about the franchise hitting any kind of critical mass regarding audience endurance: "It's interesting because could there be fatigue? I actually don't think so. I think the stories are so vast and also so varied, and I think there's so many different ways into the world that we could keep doing this forever and we'd never run out of stories."

Fans will get their chance to see the next phase of Netflix's "The Witcher" saga when the four-episode "Blood Origin" prequel miniseries hits the streaming platform on December 25, 2022. And Season 3 of "The Witcher" main series, which will star Henry Cavill, is set to come out sometime next year.