Why Henry Cavill Is Leaving The Witcher

While all we have are rumors about why Henry Cavill left The Witcher, the most likely candidates seem to be reports that he was unhappy with the show deviating from the source material.

By Douglas Helm | Updated

henry cavill witcher

Liam Hemsworth replacing Henry Cavill in Netflix’s The Witcher was one of the most jarring entertainment announcements of 2022. Cavill took to social media to wish Hemsworth well and then basically didn’t say anything else about it. With Cavill remaining relatively mum on the matter, what has emerged as the most popular rumor is that the Netflix writers hate the source material, and wanted to continue deviating from it, and Cavill — unhappy about that — left the show as a result.

Henry Cavill’s performance as Geralt of Rivia brought so much goodwill to The Witcher that the show continued to be immensely popular despite mediocre reviews. Cavill perfectly embodied the role, and replacing him is a bewildering decision, meaning it likely would have had to be Cavill’s choice. It wouldn’t make any sense for Netflix to let go of the star of their critically struggling fantasy series.

At the time, the prevailing theory was that Henry Cavill decided to leave The Witcher because he was returning to his role as Superman over at DC. He appeared in a post-credits sequence for Black Adam and even confirmed that he would be coming back. However, that theory quickly fell through when it was later announced that Cavill would not be a part of James Gunn’s DCU going forward and that he would be replaced in favor of a younger version of Superman.

Henry Cavill has always been a very vocal fan of both the Witcher novels by Andrzej Sapkowski and the CD Projekt Red video games. He would often express how much he loved the franchise, but leaving the show for a more lucrative opportunity as Superman would certainly make sense. With Superman off the table, it makes less sense that Cavill would stop playing one of his dream characters.

However, Henry Cavill had previously said that he would love to continue playing Geralt as long as the show would stick close to the source material. As fans of the novels and games know, the show has fallen short in this area since it began. While it might be fairly entertaining for people just tuning in for a casual fantasy show, Witcher fans were expecting something much more faithful to the books.

henry cavill the witcher

It’s possible that Henry Cavill felt the same way as Witcher fans, and there were rumors that the writers didn’t respect the source material at all. Ex-writer for the show Beau DeMayo spoke about this during an Instagram Q&A session, saying that not only did some of the writers dislike the shows and games, but that they would openly mock the source material. With Cavill being such a massive fan, it would likely rub him the wrong way if these rumors were true, and he butted heads with the creative direction of the show.

Showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich would later counter these claims by telling IGN that the showrunners and writers are all big fans of books and video games. So, unless Henry Cavill himself comes out and explicitly says he had a problem with the creative direction of the show and decided to leave, it’s likely these will just continue to be rumors. It’s also entirely possible that Cavill’s contract for The Witcher was just up, and he was ready to move on to other projects that didn’t demand as much of his time.

In either case, fans will get to see Henry Cavill play Geralt of Rivia one last time in the upcoming third season of The Witcher. The third season will continue to follow Geralt and Ciri and will be released as a two-part season as a sort of grand finale for Cavill before Hemsworth takes over. The first part of the season is set to hit Netflix on June 29, and the second half of the season will come on July 27.