See Henry Cavill’s Witcher Replacement In Action As The New Geralt
Deepfake technology was used to implant Liam Hemsworth as Geralt of Rivia, replacing Henry Cavill.
It’s an open secret to say that it has been a rough year to be a Henry Cavill fan: he was teased to return to the DCU before getting booted by James Gunn, but not before he walked away from The Witcher because he thought he’d be stepping back into those red boots again. This led to the surprise announcement that Cavill would be replaced on The Witcher by Liam Hemsworth, a fact that was met with more than a bit of fan blowback. Now, franchise fan Matthew Anthony has used deepfake technology to give us our first look at Hemsworth playing Geralt of Rivia.
The result has that uncanny effect that most deepfake videos have … basically, everything looks simultaneously unreal and all too real. However, one of the things we liked best about the video was that it offered occasional side-by-side shots showing us the same scene being acted by Henry Cavill and deepfake Liam Hemsworth. While there is obviously no guarantee that this is what Hemsworth will look like on the actual show, this provides a fun way to see him inserted into this universe and get used to seeing him alongside other familiar characters and actors (the cast will largely remain intact after the departure of Cavill).
Another thing that makes the video a tad spooky is that even when the deepfake Liam Hemsworth is the only Geralt onscreen, you still hear Henry Cavill’s voice when he opens his mouth. The reason for that is simple: it is much easier to create a deepfake video doppelganger of someone than it is to copy their voice, which is why this video (like most deepfakes) simply uses the original audio from the original source. That certainly made the video easier to edit together, but it means we will have to wait a bit longer to discover any new twists that Hemsworth ends up putting on Geralt’s voice.
Beyond just getting views for his Youtube channel, it looks like the original uploader is hoping to drum up enthusiasm for Liam Hemsworth stepping into Henry Cavill’s shoes. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple for many fans because, quite frankly, those are some pretty big shoes. Very few fans dismayed at the recasting were upset because they hate Liam Hemsworth as an actor but because they simply couldn’t imagine anyone else inhabiting this role the way that Cavill did.
Considering that Liam Hemsworth has spent more than a decade living in the shadow of his famous brother, Marvel Cinematic Universe star Chris Hemsworth (who himself may be replacing Cavill in the upcoming Highlander reboot), chances are that Liam is hoping to win over fans of Henry Cavill’s Geralt. Previously, Liam had a solid performance in The Hunger Games, but his subsequent attempts to break into genre entertainment (including box office disappointments like Independence Day: Resurgence) have mostly fallen flat. And if Liam Hemsworth disappoints as Geralt, the fans may take a page out of Chris Hemsworth’s book and simply bring a major hammer down on Liam as well as Netflix for replacing Cavill in the first place.