Netflix executive Peter Friedlander addresses Henry Cavill’s departure from The Witcher, explaining why the show will be fine without the actor.
Netflix executive Peter Friedlander addresses Henry Cavill’s departure from The Witcher. Cavill stars in Netflix’s fantasy series as Geralt of Rivia, a magically enhanced monster hunter and titular witcher whose fate is intertwined with that of Princess Cirilla. Over two seasons of The Witcher, Cavill’s performance has become beloved by critics and audiences alike, which is why it came as a complete shock when Cavill left the show after finishing season 3, with Liam Hemsworth taking over the lead role for season 4. The exact reasoining behind Cavill’s departure isn’t entirely clear, though many believe it is connected to his return as Superman in the DCU.
Now, over a month after the actor made the announcement, Netflix executive Peter Friedlander is addressing Cavill’s exit from The Witcher. In an extensive interview with Variety, the streaming service’s head of scripted series praised Cavill’s portrayal of Geralt and explained why the fantasy show will be just fine with Hemsworth taking over the role. Read what the Netflix executive said below:
Henry is an extraordinary Geralt and I think Liam will continue and also be an extraordinary Geralt. There has been a legacy of amazing, iconic characters where the actors have changed and we’re hugely optimistic about this. We will continue to honor the IP, the fans, the storytelling, all the way through.
Why The Witcher Will Be Fine Without Henry Cavill
The Netflix executive’s recent comments provide a sound explanation for why The Witcher will be fine without Cavill, even though they are losing the actor who many considered the perfect Geralt. Before the show even premiered, Cavill was seen as the perfect casting choice for the character considering his physical stature coupled with his love for the video game series. Over two seasons of The Witcher, his performance only became more beloved.
As Friedlander explains, there is a substantial precedent for popular characters being portrayed by different actors over the years. In this day and age when movies and television are dominated by franchises and IPs, it’s not at all uncommon to see the same characters played by different actors. Other than Geralt, a few of Cavill’s most popular roles are Superman and Sherlock Holmes, iconic characters who have been played by multiple actors before him, and likely more after. Furthermore, Geralt is a character that exists independently in Andrzej Sapkowski’s books and is voiced by Doug Cockle in the video games.
It also helps that Cavill is being replaced by a capable leading man in Hemsworth, who is eager to prove himself as the right choice for recast. His performances in The Hunger Games, Independence Day: Resurgence, and The Expendables 2 prove he’s able to handle a major franchise role. While audiences await Cavill’s final turn as Geralt in The Witcher season 3, releasing in mid-2023, before Hemsworth takes over for season 4, fans can check out the spinoff series, The Witcher: Blood Origin starring Michelle Yeoh, premiering on Netflix later this month.