Henry Cavill Quit The Witcher Because Producers Were Ruining His Character?

Some observers are speculating that Henry Cavill left The Witcher because of disagreements with the show's writers, including reports that they openly mocked the source material.

By Michileen Martin | Published

There is growing speculation that Henry Cavill’s departure from Netflix’s The Witcher has less to do with the actor’s renewed commitment to play Superman, and more to do with disagreements between the actor and the show’s writers. The news that Cavill was exiting the series dropped over the weekend, along with the word that the Man of Steel star was being succeeded in the role of Geralt by Liam Hemsworth (The Hunger Games).

The Witcher fansite Redanian Intelligence released a lengthy story on Tuesday, putting forth the theory that Henry Cavill’s departure from The Witcher was due to a combination of the actor’s work with Warner Bros, and friction between him and The Witcher‘s production team. The site claims to have heard from a source that there were conflicts between Cavill and the writers during the Season 2 post-production process last year.

They go on to chronicle a number of quotes from Cavill over the years either hinting at–or outright admitting to–conflicts between himself and the writers about making Geralt more accurate to the source material. They also point to an interview with The Hollywood Reporter from November 2021 in which Henry Cavill called himself “absolutely” committed to continuing with The Witcher “As long as we can keep telling great stories which honor [author Andrzej] Sapkowski’s work.”

Redanian Intelligence isn’t alone in their belief that the Netflix show’s drift away from the source material has more to do with Henry Cavill leaving the series than any Superman-related commitments. Last week IGN reported on Beau DeMayo, a former writer and producer from The Witcher, who claimed that some of the show’s other scribes were “actively mocking” Sapkowski’s stories and the popular video games.

No stranger to adapting material from page to the screen–both in his capacity as writer and producer on the Henry Cavill led The Witcher, as well as his new role of showrunner for Marvel’s X-Men ‘97–DeMayo said, “I’ve been on a show – namely Witcher – where some of the writers were not or actively disliked the books and games (even actively mocking the source material).”

“It’s a recipe for disaster and bad morale,” DeMayo continued. “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.”

the witcher michelle yeoh
Michelle Yeoh in The Witcher: Blood Origin

Regardless of why he left, losing as big a draw as Henry Cavill certainly can’t be good news for the Witcher producers who clearly hope to expand the fantasy franchise. Along with the 2021 animated movie The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf, on Christmas Day the franchise will premiere its prequel miniseries The Witcher: Blood Origin on Netflix. Michelle Yeoh leads the series as Scian, an elf whose tribe is wiped out for refusing to fight for the King of Xintrea.

Thankfully, Henry Cavill isn’t gone from The Witcher quite yet, at least not as far as viewers are concerned. Season 3, which will star Cavill in the lead role, is expected to stream on Netflix in Summer 2023.