Movies & TV

Why Did Henry Cavill Stop Playing the Witcher?

The reasons why Henry Cavill decided to stop playing Geralt of Rivia in The Witcher on Netflix are both multifaceted and also opaque.

The Witcher season 3 on Netflix still has Henry Cavill playing Geralt. But don’t just take our word for it — Netflix has projected that fact onto a variety of high-profile locations. It’s not a good look, and we can’t imagine that Liam Hemsworth, who takes over the role with season 4, will be happy either. But why has this whole changing-of-the-Geralt happened? If you’re wondering why Henry Cavill will stop playing the witcher, here’s what you need to know.

Why Henry Cavill Departed The Witcher at Netflix

Henry Cavill hasn’t publicly given any explanation as to why he chose to leave. He announced his departure last year, stating via Instagram, “I will be laying down my medallion and my swords for Season 4. In my stead, the fantastic Mr Liam Hemsworth will be taking up the mantle of the White Wolf.”

To date, no one involved with the show has come forward to suggest that this was anything other than amicable parting. However, there have been rumors that there were creative differences between Cavill and the showrunner, Lauren Schmidt Hissrich.

Some people have suggested that Henry Cavill hasn’t been happy with the way the show differs from the books. As noted by Forbes contributor Paul Tassi, Anya Chalotra (who plays Yennefer) praised Cavill’s knowledge of the source material. Cavill himself has repeatedly spoken about his love for the books.

And didn’t he say he was up for seven seasons? That’s true, sort of. What he actually said in this Hollywood Reporter interview was, “Absolutely. As long as we can keep telling great stories which honor [author Andrzej] Sapkowski’s work.”

Is it possible that Cavill left because he felt the series was no longer honoring the source material? Conceivably, yes, but that’s just supposition. Cavill and the other actors have remained completely professional about his departure. It is also possible he may have left the series to make room to continue playing Superman for DC, as he was once planned to return to it in a large way — before DC decided to reboot the entire universe without Cavill.

So ultimately, why did Henry Cavill stop playing the Witcher? The official story is that he just decided to part company with the series. If there’s more to it than that, no one’s talking.

About the author

Chris McMullen
Freelance contributor at The Escapist. I've returned to writing about games after a couple of career changes, with my recent stint lasting five-plus years. I hope, through my writing work, to settle the karmic debt I incurred by persuading my parents to buy a Mega CD. Aside from writing for The Escapist, I also cover news and more for GameSpew. I've also been published at other sites including VG247, Space, and more. My tastes run to horror, the post-apocalyptic, and beyond, though I'll tackle most things that aren't exclusively sports-based.