Henry Cavill shocked the world when he announced his time as Geralt of Rivia would conclude with The Witcher's upcoming third season. Not even the news that The Hunger Games star Liam Hemsworth is taking over the role softened the blow, and many fans are blaming the show's creative team for driving the actor away.
After all, there have been rumblings for weeks now that his frustration with the Netflix series' adherence to the books and games was a driving force in his decision to bid The Witcher farewell.
During a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly (via SFFGazette.com), showrunner Lauren Hissrich stopped short of addressing that, but did promise a fitting farewell for Cavill's iteration of the hero.
"Henry has given so much to the show and so we want to honor that appropriately," she explained. "What is so interesting is that Season 3, to me, is the closest thing that we’ve done as a one-to-one adaptation of the books."
"Obviously, we can’t do every page, but Time of Contempt gave us so many big action events, plot points, defining character moments, huge reveals of a big bad," she continued in what feels a little like damage control mode. "There’s so much to do that we were able to stick really, really closely with the books."
"Geralt’s big turn is about giving up neutrality and doing anything that he has to do to get to Ciri. And to me, it’s the most heroic sendoff that we could have, even though it wasn’t written to be that. Geralt has a new mission in mind when we come back to him in Season 4. He’s a slightly different Geralt than we expected. Now, by the way, that’s an understatement."
So, with a change in actors comes a shift in approach to how the character will be portrayed. That sounds like a very James Bond-ian way to handle this passing of the mantle, but given the backlash from fans and Cavill's love of the character, is there even a slim chance he could return to The Witcher, whether it be in front or behind the camera?
"We haven’t even thought about that at this point," Hissrich admits. "We have plans to keep this going in various permutations."
Just like Cavill's time as Superman is up, we're guessing The Witcher season 3 will see him say goodbye to The Continent for good. There are bound to be other iconic roles for him (Captain Britain, anyone?), and we're now a little more intrigued than we previously were to see how the series handles his departure and Hemsworth's debut.
The Witcher season 3 is set to premiere on Netflix next summer.