Without Henry Cavill, the once successful “Witcher” series is not doing well on Netflix. In fact, the team had an opportunity to end the series.
It is what it is: Henry Cavill, heart and soul of the Netflix fantasy series The Witcher, will no longer be the witcher Geralt of Rivia after Season 3, wielding silver and steel blades and advocating justice on the nameless continent and keep order. It is extremely rare that a successful series has to cope with a change in the main cast in the middle, let alone in the same role.
Liam Hemsworth, brother of Marvel star Chris Hemsworth, who is allowed to inherit Cavill as the White Wolf after season 3, will have to fill big shoes – maybe too big ones. The controversy surrounding Cavill’s departure may already have caused too much damage for The Witcher: Blood Origin spin-off to suffer, despite Michelle Yeoh. The fantasy series didn’t do well with either the reviews or the audience, and the streaming numbers weren’t convincing either. It is currently not certain whether there will be another season at all, especially since the whole thing was designed as a mini-series from the start.Against this background, one can assume that the upcoming new season of the main series, the first part of which will be made available via Netflix from June 29, 2023, will most likely not match the streaming numbers of the second season. Shortly after Cavill’s departure was announced, many fans announced that they wanted to boycott further episodes. This was also shown in the latest teaser trailer, which currently has over 321,000 dislikes compared to almost 68,000 likes on the US Netflix channel on YouTube – around four times as many dislikes. The whole thing can be viewed via browser plugin.
The question arises as to why those responsible at Netflix and the team around showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich have not decided to end “The Witcher” with season 3. Then at least the series would have stayed consistent. In fact, she was offered that by Netflix, as the filmmaker revealed when speaking to Gamesradar (via Redanian Intelligence):
“It was time for him [Henry Cavill, ed.] to move on with his life. I think we all grieved in our own way. We had the choice to drop Geralt and end the series. [But] we didn’t want that. There are just too many stories left to tell. If we had replaced Geralt with another witcher, we would have strayed completely from the books. And I don’t think anyone wanted that either.”
An interesting statement, given that one of the reasons Cavill left the Netflix series was that he didn’t agree with Hissrich’s content removal from author Andrzej Sapkowski’s novel. You can watch the teaser trailer for The Witcher season 3 in the video.
“The Witcher”: Liam Hemsworth should be a worthy successor
It must have been clear to Netflix that the expensive fantasy series would pose a financial risk without its leading actor. But Lauren Schmidt Hissrich is certain that Liam Hemsworth will not only convince as his successor, but will also bring a whole new dynamic:
“We’re all looking forward to the arrival of Liam [Hemsworth]. He has big shoes to fill, but he also has a lot of energy and enthusiasm for what he does. This is of course a whole new chapter for us. And it’s about a lot of things. But at the end of the day, we love what we do – and we will keep going.”
The no less big question is whether Netflix will not pull the plug on the once promising series after Season 3 – namely when the streaming numbers are no longer correct.