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The Witcher: Why is Henry Cavill leaving the Netflix show?

The actor will be replaced by Liam Hemsworth in season 4

Henry Cavill as Geralt in The Witcher season three. (Credit: Netflix)
Henry Cavill as Geralt in The Witcher season three. (Credit: Netflix)

Geralt of Rivia will change faces in The Witcher as Henry Cavill is exiting the role after three seasons and passing on the torch to Liam Hemsworth.

The actor announced the news via Instagram in October 2022, sharing that he had decided to leave the Netflix show following the completion of the third season which is now streaming on Netflix after being released in two parts.

In a statement, Cavill explained: "My journey as Geralt of Rivia has been filled with both monsters and adventures, and alas, 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.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 15: Liam Hemsworth attends the Australian Premiere of Poker Face at Hoyts Entertainment Quarter on November 15, 2022 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)
Liam Hemsworth will take over the role of Geralt of Rivia in season 4 of The Witcher (Getty Images)

"As with the greatest of literary characters, I pass the torch with reverence for the time spent embodying Geralt and enthusiasm to see Liam's take on this most fascinating and nuanced of men. Liam, good sir, this character has such a wonderful depth to him, enjoy diving in and seeing what you can find."

Read more: Henry Cavill's Warhammer universe explained

But the decision left fans wondering exactly why Cavill chose to depart the series in the first place, here is what we know.

Why is Henry Cavill leaving The Witcher?

The Witcher S3 (Netflix)
Henry Cavill confirmed in October 2022 he was leaving The Witcher after season 3 (Netflix)

When asked directly about Cavill's exit from The Witcher, and whether they'd be willing to set the record straight on the matter given rumours have run riot, executive producer Tomek Baginski told Yahoo UK that it was not something he wished to reveal.

"That's a question that's best left unanswered because there's so many rumours, but which ones?" he said.

"Because almost everyone has an opinion, and I think that's something that we just want to leave for Henry [to answer], and we don't want to dip into this."

As can be seen from his statement, Cavill did not give a reason for his exit from the Netflix series, but the announcement came just four days after he announced he would be returning to the role of Superman in the DCU.

MAN OF STEEL, 2013, HENRY CAVILL
Henry Cavill as Superman in Man of Steel (Alamy)

It is unclear if the two announcements were connected, but in the end the move was scrapped after James Gunn and Peter Safran decided to take the character in a different direction with their reboot of the franchise.

Gunn has since said he felt Cavill was "messed around" by the people leading DC Studios before he and Safran were brought in, and that Cavill was never cast in their upcoming Superman film.

Read more: How did Henry Cavill become the internet's darling?

In terms of The Witcher, it has been rumoured that Cavill was dissatisfied with the direction that the show was going in, and how it was veering away from its source material.

Cavill has previously spoken about how he wished the role would be closer to his depiction in Andrzej Sapkowski's books, which lends some weight to the aforementioned rumour.

The Witcher (Netflix)
Henry Cavill and Anya Chalotra in The Witcher (Netflix)

In an interview with Hardware Zone ahead of season 2, he said: “As far as the preparation goes, coming into this, I wanted the character to have a closer relationship to the character in the books, I wanted him to be more book accurate.

"And so it was more to do with making sure and campaigning for him to sound more intellectual, more philosophical, and to have an emotional side as well, rather than just be a grumpy snowman.

"Every day I was pushing this stuff as far as prep goes… At the present he can be a little uncommunicative. And I'm obviously working on that.”

A former producer for the show, Beau DeMayo, has also claimed that some of the writers for The Witcher did not even like the books the show is based on.

The Witcher (Netflix)
The Witcher (Netflix)

Per The Direct, he said in a q&a session on his Instagram stories that the team working on the new X-Men '97 reboot had to be fans, adding: "I've been on show — namely Witcher — where some of the writers were not [fans] or actively disliked the books and games (even actively mocking the source material).

Read more: The Witcher's Freya Allan can't wait to explore 'darker part of Ciri' in season 4

"It's a recipe for disaster and bad morale. Fandom as a litmus test checks egos, and makes all the long nights worth it. You have to respect the work before you're allowed to add to its legacy."

As it stands, Cavill has not given a definitive reason as to why he decided to leave the Netflix show, but perhaps one day he will.

The Witcher season 3 parts 1 and 2 are both available on Netflix now.

Watch: the trailer for The Witcher season 3 part 1