Is Henry Cavill leaving The Witcher? Season 4 cast announcement explained, reaction to Liam Hemsworth news

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The Netflix series has become a favourite amongst fans of the fantasy books, with season 3 set to be released in 2023

Fans of hit Netflix fantasy TV series The Witcher have reacted with dismay after a season 4 cast announcement was made this weekend.

The show, which is based upon books by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, has had two series so far, with season 3 set to be released in 2023. It follows a mutant called Geralt of Rivia, who is trying to keep his world safe by protecting a young princess with strong magical powers.

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Henry Cavill has played the title character for its first two seasons and is set to appear in its third season. But will he be playing the role after 2023? Here’s what you need to know.

(Photo: Netflix)(Photo: Netflix)
(Photo: Netflix) | Netflix

Is Henry Cavill leaving The Witcher?

When Henry Cavill was announced as The Witcher, it seemed like a match made in heaven. The British actor is known to be a big fan of the books, and brought out the nuances of the lead character.

However, on Saturday (29 October), Netflix announced he would be relinquishing the role from season four onwards. Netflix said he would be “handing his swords” to Australian actor Liam Hemsworth.

In a statement released on Instagram, Henry Cavill wrote: “My journey as Geralt of Rivia has been filled with both monsters and adventures, and alas, I will be laying down my medallion and my swords for Season 4.

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“In my stead, the fantastic Mr. Liam Hemsworth will be taking up the mantle of the White Wolf. As with the greatest of literary characters, I pass the torch with reverence for the time spent embodying Geralt and enthusiasm to see Liam’s take on this most fascinating and nuanced of men. Liam, good sir, this character has such a wonderful depth to him, enjoy diving in and seeing what you can find.”

Fans have reacted with dismay at the announcement, with speculation rife about Cavill’s reasons for quitting the blockbuster series. Some have suggested his previous experience playing DC hero Superman may have played a role.

Others think it’s a sign that the show’s producers are about to move away from the source text. Such moves are rarely well-received, with the final series of Game of Thrones being most recent worst example of what can happen when series diverge from the original work or overtake the authors they’ve been inspired by.

What has Liam Hemsworth said about The Witcher?

In an Instagram post timed to coincide with Henry Cavill’s statement, Liam Hemsworth, 32, could barely contain his excitement at landing the lead role in the major franchise.

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“As a Witcher fan I’m over the moon about the opportunity to play Geralt of Rivia,” he said. “Henry Cavill has been an incredible Geralt, and I’m honoured that he’s handing me the reins and allowing me to take up the White Wolf’s blades for the next chapter of his adventure.

“Henry, I’ve been a fan of yours for years and was inspired by what you brought to this beloved character. I may have some big boots to fill, but I’m truly excited to be stepping into The Witcher world.”

Getting the role means the Hemsworth brothers are set to become the dominant TV and film franchise stars of our time. Thor-star Chris Hemsworth is a cornerstone of the Marvel universe, while Liam Hemsworth has previously played a lead role in The Hunger Games.

Have there been any other The Witcher season 4 cast announcements?

At present, the Henry Cavill/Liam Hemsworth announcement is the only one that’s been made about season 4 of The Witcher. It means we can expect the likes of Anya Chalotra, Freya Allen and Mimi Ndiweni to reprise their roles in the series.

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Henry Cavill is the only departure announced so far by The Witcher’s producers (image: Getty Images)Henry Cavill is the only departure announced so far by The Witcher’s producers (image: Getty Images)
Henry Cavill is the only departure announced so far by The Witcher’s producers (image: Getty Images) | Getty Images for Netflix

When is The Witcher Season 4?

For all the furore over Henry Cavill leaving The Witcher, fans still have a whole series of his incarnation of Geralt to enjoy before he makes his final bow. Season 3’s official release date has not yet been announced by Netflix, but it is expected to come out at some point between June and September 2023.

With Season 2 having come onto our screens in late 2021, it means it could be at least another 18 months before Liam Hemsworth appears on our screens as the mutant. Season 4 could be released in either late 2024 or early 2025 based on the current timetable for the show.

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