The Witcher seems to be the role of a lifetime. But was saying yes to the series a lapse in judgement on Henry Cavill’s part?
One of the most ambitious projects developed by Netflix is the 2019 Polish-American fantasy-adventure drama, The Witcher. Based on a book of the same name written by Andrzej Sapkowski, the series has been created by television producer and screenwriter, Lauren Schmidt Hissrich. Henry Cavill, who plays the titular character of Geralt of Rivia, the Witcher, was chosen from a pool of 200 actors.
- “I’ve heard tales of your kind, Witcher…”
- Why was Henry Cavill chosen to play Geralt of Rivia in The Witcher?
- Did Cavill make a miscalculated decision by starring in The Witcher?
However, since the release of its first season, several viewers and critics have expressed their disapproval of Cavill as the hero of the series. This brings us to the question – Has Cavill erred in taking on the role of the Witcher?
“I’ve heard tales of your kind, Witcher…”
The Witcher is set in the medieval era, in a fictional place called ‘The Continent’. It follows the legend of Geralt of Rivia/Witcher (Henry Cavill) and Ciri, the crown princess of Cintra (Freya Allan) who are fated to meet each another. Geralt of Rivia is a monster hunter for hire with special powers who is trying to navigate through life in a world of corrupt rulers, violence and poverty, and often crosses paths with a sorceress Yennefer of Vengerberg (Anya Chalotra) while finding his way to Ciri. But their lives are threatened by Ciri’s grandmother, Calanthe and all the other dangers lurking in ‘The Continent’.
The series has the Game of Thrones vibe but still manages to hold on its own with its spectacular cast and splendid screenplay. Most of the critics have lauded Cavill’s performance understanding that his portrayal is more similar to how the book defines the character and not the game. The series is one of the most in-demand series on Netflix and has also boosted the sales of its game, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt greatly.
In November 2019, Netflix announced that the series had been renewed for another season called The Witcher: Mysterious Monsters, set to release in 2021.
Why was Henry Cavill chosen to play Geralt of Rivia?
Show-runner Hissrich said in an interview that Cavill’s preparedness and enthusiasm for the role were what appeased her when she first met him as he knew more about the franchise than she did at the point she said, “Henry is a huge fan of the game. We met very early in the process and he had played all of the video games. He’s quite the gamer himself. And when he heard that Netflix was making a show based on the books, he went out and read all of the books.”
Henry himself has expressed how desperately he wanted to play the role as he was quoted saying, “When I heard they were making The Witcher, I obviously was incredibly excited, and I annoyed the living daylights out of my agents,” he said. “I called them every day and said, ‘Guys, now? Meeting now? How about now?’ And they eventually said, ‘Look, they’ve brought on a show-runner, and we’ve called them, and they said, ‘Look, we’re not even close to that process yet,” and I kept on pushing, pushing, pushing, and eventually I think Netflix just got tired.”
Cavill’s portrayal of the role has been seen quite similar to how the character has been described in the books. In an interview he admitted to this saying, “My version of Geralt is true to the books, and I’m sure it is to the game, too, because I’m a big fan of the game. But, to put it simply, Geralt’s heart is that of a travelling knight, but his exterior is jaded because of the world and his vision is obscured by the world and everyone. At first he may look badass, but when you really look, it’s the other way around. But that’s what makes him interesting: deep down he’s a knight, he’s one of those fan heroes, but from the outside he looks the other way around. And that’s one of the things I love about this character. Because even though he is that thing, he is also different on the outside, which is extraordinary.”
But none of this has been able to stop haters from expressing their displeasure with Cavill playing the Witcher.
Did Cavill make a miscalculated decision by starring in The Witcher?
It doesn’t seem so. Cavill’s Geralt is the silent, brooding type that is tough on the outside and emotional. Though some viewers and critics are of the opinion that he made a mistake taking on this role, it’s actually not true. His poignant portrayal of the character is not exactly the same as that shown in the game and has Cavill’s own special touch to it.
Cavill has also expressed that he sees himself in Geralt saying, “Geralt always wants to do the right thing. And his intention is there: His goal is to do the right thing, make the right choice, and protect the people who need protecting. But he’s also very willing to do some of the necessary, harder things that are required…. Geralt felt very familiar to me from the very beginning.”
Do you think Henry is the right choice for the role? Are you excited about the upcoming season of The Witcher? Write to us in the comments below.