Netflix may be looking to use Henry Cavill’s The Witcher series as a way to compete with the popular connected universe that Marvel and Star Wars are providing for one of its biggest streaming rivals, Disney+.
According to a new rumor from We Got This Covered, Netflix is hoping to use the character popularized by Henry Cavill, who got his origins in Andrzej Sapkowski’s books before becoming a top-tier video game star, as a springboard to set up its own connected universe.
The Witcher was a popular hit for the streaming service when it dropped season one in 2019. This was no surprise considering the following that both the game and books had, even if live-action game adaptations are notoriously difficult to make work. Thanks to Henry Cavill’s run as Geralt of Rivera as well as his supporting cast including Freya Allan as Ciri, Anya Chalotra as Yennefer, and Joey Batey as Jaskier, the show was picked up for another season at Netflix set to debut in December of 2021. However, that’s not all.
In addition to another season of the flagship show, the world of The Witcher will play home to a prequel limited series titled The Witcher: Blood Origins. Co-starring Michelle Yeoh and Laurence O’Fuarain, the series will be set 1,200 years before the events of season one, meaning it’s very doubtful that Henry Cavill’s Geralt will make an appearance in the six-episode run. Instead, it will deal heavily with the origins of the Witchers and how they came to be the world’s protectors-for-hire.
In addition to that, earlier this week Netflix released the trailer for its first animated movie set in The Witcher universe. However, this too will be a prequel and is therefore not expected to feature Henry Cavill as Geralt. Instead, The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf will focus on Geralt’s mentor, Vessemir, a character who will be brought to life on-screen in The Witcher season 2 by Kim Bodnia. Before that, Theo James will voice him in a sort of origin story about a roguish young warrior who takes up the Witcher profession in order to use his fighting talents to make some money slaying monsters. However, when a strange new creature begins terrorizing a “politically fraught kingdom,” he if forced to tackle both his past and his present.
Because both series are canonical within Henry Cavill’s The Witcher universe, it lends some support to the rumor that Netflix is hoping to use Henry Cavill to expand the franchise into an ever-growing connected world of spinoffs. However, still flying in the face of that rumor is the fact that both stories are prequels that do not include Geralt. Therefore, it seems he’s not exactly providing the connective tissue that a Marvel Cinematic Universe-like situation requires. In addition, the only two side projects announced thus far, both without Henry Cavill, both have a clear expiration date. The Witcher: Blood Origin is only a limited series that will conclude at the end of its six-episode run. Meanwhile, The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf, is a movie that will be over as soon as the credits roll. So, they’re not exactly building blocks to something larger.
It’s tough to say whether Netflix has eyes for a connected universe based on The Witcher. However, given the current trend in event TV, it would be shocking if the idea wasn’t at least being discussed. However, it’s much more likely that the popularity of Henry Cavill’s second outing as Geralt will be much more of a deciding factor in which way the franchise goes rather than a single season that was released two years ago.