When it was announced that Henry Cavill had quit his role as Geralt of Rivia in The Witcher, there was an uproar of devastation from viewers who couldn’t have imagined anyone else playing the part.
After season 3, which launches this year, the character will be taken over by Hunger Games star Liam Hemsworth – and according to bigwigs on the Netflix show, the ‘excited’ actor’s entrance will make sense to diehard fans who are familiar with the books.
Ahead of the release of the latest episodes, which will mark Henry’s final bout as the sword-wielding monster hunter, Metro.co.uk spoke to executive producers Steve Gaub and Tomasz ‘Tomek’ Baginski about the changing of the guard.
Tomek, who has returned to the TV adaptation after being involved in season one and the spin-off Blood Origin, stressed that while Henry, 40, will be missed, the idea to bring Liam, 33, into the tale at this point is ‘very accurate’ to the lore of the fantasy tale.
‘I feel it’s important to underline that what Henry built was very, very important for the show and he was amazing Geralt and I think we will all miss him but at the same time, the show goes on and actually the idea to introduce Liam – I don’t want to go too deep, I don’t want to go into spoilers – but it’s very, very accurate with the lore of The Witcher,’ he explained.
‘People who actually know all the books and know book five and the idea that there are many versions of the same story… I think that they might like it quite a lot.
‘So I will miss Henry but at the same time I’m very, very excited for Liam and for the future because I think he’ll just bring a different type of energy and it will still be Geralt but with a different flavour.’
Given season three is going to be Henry’s swansong for The Witcher, it’s certainly going to be an emotional goodbye for fans, even though there is excitement over what Liam is going to bring when he fills Geralt’s shoes.
Steve, who’s been involved with The Witcher since it first premiered, stressed how ‘personally pleased’ he feels by the ‘strength’ of the season for Geralt’s character development, as well as for Henry as an actor.
‘He expanded his character, he opened up more. He became not just a Witcher but he became a father and he became somewhat of a husband. He became a deeper friend of Jaskier’s,’ the producer outlined.
‘There was so many great things for Henry to lean into and give us an even more well-rounded Geralt, and then the news hits us and you’ve got to take it like many other franchises in the past have, that have experienced more than one Doctor Who and more than one James Bond and more than one Spider-Man.’
Steve added that given the ‘strength of the franchise’, consisting of ‘well-written characters’ and a ‘fascinating world’, the creators are ‘counting on the audience continuing on that journey with us’.
‘It’ll be a new face in Liam Hemsworth. He’s super excited about the challenge. We think with the characters and the world being the forefront we’re confident that the fans are going to come along with us,’ he shared.
When Liam released his statement confirming he had been cast as Geralt, he issued a direct message to Henry, paying homage to his impact in the role.
‘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,’ he wrote at the time.
‘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.’
Meanwhile, Henry said of his successor: ‘Liam, good sir, this character has such a wonderful depth to him, enjoy diving in and seeing what you can find.’