The fourth season of The Witcher not only adapts Andrzej Sapkowski’s novel Baptism of Fire, but becomes one for Netflix itself. Liam Hemsworth will replace Henry Cavill as the platinum-blonde witcher Geralt of Rivia. the Fantasy saga is at a crossroads. But she can hardly be saved.
The Witcher was fast becoming Netflix’s biggest fantasy franchise. Now it could be the biggest disaster. Henry Cavill’s exit and the main character’s reshuffle irreversible damage on. Thor’s little brother, as the new White Wolf, cannot save the series from its problems.
Without Henry Cavill, The Witcher is lost
The success of The Witcher, whose first season is one of the 10 most watched English-language Netflix series, is entirely due to Henry Cavill. Sure, Andrzej Sapkowski’s books are cult and the Witcher games have an enormous fan base. One successful brand does not make a successful Netflix series – see Resident Evil.
Henry Cavill’s dedication and passion for the books and games are largely responsible for the popularity of the Netflix series. As a self-proclaimed supernerd he fought like no other person clamoring for The Witcher to be the best possible series adaptation. Cavill took care of better fight scenes, he flayed his body and is even said to have rewritten Roach’s death scene in season 2 on his own, because he didn’t think the authors’ material was worthy.
Because nobody knows Geralt as well as he does. Nobody loves this character as much as he does. In interviews, Henry Cavill has repeatedly made it clear that he is behind the scenes worked hard to keep the series true to the original and presents the eponymous witcher as the fans appreciate him.
This fight was probably in vain. This was already indicated in season 2, which differed drastically from the novel in some respects. According to reports, problems behind the scenes of the fantasy franchise and the sometimes disrespectful handling of Sapkowski’s books by the authors are said to have led to the exit. If the biggest Witcher fan now throws in the towel, it doesn’t reflect well on the Netflix production.
The Witcher – S02 Trailer (German) HD
He would certainly have been able to reconcile both the time-consuming Witcher production and his upcoming Superman obligations in the future. Shortly before the surprise exit was announced, Cavill opened up about his career choices on Josh Horowitz’ show Happy Sad Confused. While he doesn’t explicitly mention The Witcher, the context is his disappointed statements more than clear:
If you believe in what you are doing, then you will be able to keep doing it. It’s also important to know to stop doing the wrong thing when you realize you’re doing the wrong thing. You don’t just keep going just because you’re doing it. Because that leads to a dark path.
Henry Cavill is Geralt of Rivia. He is the face of this series – and almost all Witcher memes. Without his charisma and star power, The Witcher faces a huge problem. Canceling the series is not an option for Netflix. The franchise plans have become too big for that. The sequel with a new leading actor is even more problematic.
Recasting Liam Hemsworth destroys The Witcher experience
Recasting well-known film and series characters is not uncommon in Hollywood. figures like Spider-Man, Batman or James Bond were played by numerous actors whose different interpretations made these roles even more fascinating.
But the case of Geralt of Rivia is quite different. The Witcher isn’t Doctor Who, where the main character can be recast every few seasons through the wonder of regenerative powers. We are in the middle of a big one Fantasy saga with a continuous plot and expect consistency.
Imagine Daniel Radcliffe had thrown in the towel after three Harry Potter films or Frodo Baggins had suddenly been recast at the gates of Mordor? Geralt of Rivia is no supporting character whose recast is to be forgiven.
In this case, a changed face of the central character cannot be solved by time jumps like in House of the Dragon or a reboot. Geralt is the protagonist of the series. His chemistry with Ciri, Yennefer and Delphinium could develop naturally. Having to accept a new Geralt after three seasons is the worst thing the homogeneous fantasy vision and immersion can happen.
One can only feel sorry for Liam Hemsworth. In order to be able to adapt the entire story of the book template, The Witcher (with one book per season) would need a total of 6 seasons. Hemsworth now bears an enormous responsibility.
He needs to win the fans’ trust in no time, make us forget about the toxic vibes behind the scenes, and make season 4 so successful that Netflix skips two more. Otherwise the meltdown of an unfinished fantasy epic threatens.
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Fortunately, the era of Cavill-Geralts is not over yet. In the summer of 2023, there are eight final episodes with him. And a small one A taste of what a Witcher series can be like without Henry Cavill, we will already receive this December. Then the prequel miniseries The Witcher: Blood Origin starts – completely without Geralt.
It will the first baptism of firewhether the Netflix series universe can thrive without Henry Cavill’s strong shoulders before it settles on Liam Hemsworth’s not insignificantly smaller shoulders.
Can you imagine a live-action Geralt other than Henry Cavill?