The Witcher showrunner Lauren Hissrich says she “totally understands” why fans are furious about Henry Cavill’s imminent departure.
Speaking exclusively to TechRadar at The Witcher: Blood Origin UK party, Hissrich said she sympathizes with viewers because Cavill has left the hit Netflix show. At the same time, however, Hissrich appealed to fans to stay with the TV series even though Cavill will not be part of the cast for much longer.
Hissrich’s response comes five weeks after it was announced that the series’ lead actor will not be returning as Geralt of Rivia after Season 3 of The Witcher. Brother of Marvel movie star Chris Hemsworth – replaces Cavill from Season 4.
In the days that followed, The Witcher fanbase expressed their shock and dismay at Cavill’s departure from one of his dream roles. A Change.org petition (opens in new tab) — currently over 275,000 signatures — was even set up, urging Netflix to try to convince Cavill to stay and fire the show’s writing team instead.
For her part, Hissrich says she fully understands the fan anger directed at her and the rest of the show’s creators. However, she also urged The Witcher fanbase to continue supporting her cast and crew, adding that this would not come at the expense of the upcoming Blood Origin spin-off and future seasons of The Witcher main series.
“It’s a big deal for us too,” Hissrich admitted when TechRadar mentioned how negatively fans had reacted to Cavill’s imminent departure. “And that’s the thing – there’s a lot of talk and rumor about it and we totally understand why fans go there.
“What I’m going to say is please come back for The Witcher season 3 so we can get on with it. Obviously that [Cavill’s departure] is huge news. But what I don’t want is – it has to stay with Blood Origin, Declan [de Barra, Blood Origin’s showrunner], the cast and the crew. This is her time in the spotlight.”
Cavill is a self-proclaimed Witcher superfan, and his portrayal of Geralt was a major highlight of one of the best Netflix shows in its first two seasons. Without him, fans fear the mainline series will continue to deviate from author Andrzej Sapkowski’s source material, with large swathes of the fan base previously criticizing the plot-based deviations made by the show’s creative team in Season 2 of The Witcher.
A huge Witcher fan, Cavill has been as vocal as his fan base in wanting the show to stick more closely to Sapkowski’s fantasy novels. In December 2021, he narrated Netflix’s The Witcher Season 2 Unlocked Aftershow (opens in new tab): “I’m a big fan of the books and remain loyal to them, and it’s about making sure the story happens without too many distractions or side issues to muddy the waters.”
Since news of Cavill’s departure broke, several rumors have circulated around the internet, with many fans suggesting he had fallen out with the show’s writers and producers over the direction of the show’s story. As a gentleman, Cavill expressed no animosity toward the series’ creative team in his own Instagram post (opens in new tab) about leaving the Witcher TV show. Instead, he asked Liam Hemsworth to continue Geralt’s legacy in the live-action adaptation.
Obviously, few people know the truth behind Cavill’s departure from the show, and it’s highly unlikely we’ll ever find out. However, Hissrich’s comments will do little to quell fan speculation as to why he was called in to play Geralt — or convince them to continue watching the show’s main series and/or morph into its spin-offs.
TechRadar will bring you more coverage of Blood Origin ahead of its December 25 release. So check back with us over the next two weeks for more exclusives and our full thoughts on The Witcher spin-off project two.
For more Netflix and The Witcher content, check out Best Netflix Movies and Best Netflix Documentaries. Alternatively, find out how to read the Witcher books in order, or check out one of these five gory fantasies while we await Season 3’s arrival.