Why Did Henry Cavill Leave The Witcher? Here's the Alleged Reason

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Posted:
Henry Cavill as The Witcher

Henry Cavill's exit from Netflix's The Witcher has left some fans wondering if he will ever return.

Cavill portrayed the sword-wielding lone wolf known as Geralt of Rivia for three seasons of The Witcher from 2019 to 2023. Liam Hemsworth (The Hunger Games) is set to replace Cavill as The Witcher's lead character starting in Season 4. 

[ Liam Hemsworth's The Witcher Season 4 Recast Explained: Why Is Henry Cavill Getting Replaced? ]

Henry Cavill's The Witcher Exit Explained

Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia in The Witcher Season 2

In an Instagram post in October 2022, Henry Cavill confirmed his exit from The Witcher after Season 3 with a heartfelt message, noting that he passes the torch "with reverence for the time spent embodying Geralt and enthusiasm" to Liam Hemsworth: 

"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. 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."

Cavill's departure shocked fans, leaving them to wonder why the actor exited the Netflix series. 

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly in May 2023, The Witcher star Anya Chalotra, who plays Yennefer in the series, shared her thoughts about Cavill's abrupt exit, saying that the news was "hard to take" and the cast and crew are going to "miss him a lot:"

“All we knew were the feelings that we have when any season comes to an end. It’s full of pride and love and accomplishment for what we’ve done. So, we stayed in that moment rather than anything else. The news was... yeah, it’s hard to take because he’s a crucial part of the show and we all adore him. So, we’re gonna miss him a lot. I wish him all the best.”

So Why Did Henry Cavill Leave The Witcher? 

Some theorized that Cavill's exit from The Witcher was due to his commitment to play Superman for an extended period after appearing as the Man of Steel in Dwayne Johnson's Black Adam

Cavill's commitment to play Geralt was undeniable. In a roundtable discussion in December 2019 (via GamesRadar+), the actor said that he would have no problem juggling other projects with his stint from The Witcher

“You’ve got to keep in mind that regardless of what movies I’ll be doing over the next few years, you can fit two projects into one year.”

So why did he leave? It seemed to boil down to his contract and creative decisions regarding the Netflix series.

A report from Deadline in October 2022 claimed that Cavill had a short-term deal for The Witcher and had decided to move on. The report noted the show's overseas filming and demanding production schedule as potential culprits behind his departure. 

Cavill also told the Philippine Star in December 2021 that he wanted the show to be as close to the source material from the books as possible: 

“I wanted to try and bring as much of the book’s Geralt into Season 2 as possible, and as much as the vision, the plot, and storylines would allow."

The actor mentioned that it was tricky to find the right balance between the showrunners' vision and his love for the books: 

"The toughest part for me was finding that balance between the showrunners’ vision and my love for the books and trying to bring that Geralt to the showrunners’ vision. It’s about treading a fine line there. It’s the showrunners’ story and so it’s an adaptation. The tricky bit for me was finding Geralt from the books’ place within that and being able to serve both as much as I could.”

Cavill's comments led many to believe his decision to leave was related to his passion for the source material.

Another rumor from a celebrity gossip account known as Deuxmoi claimed that Cavill became "really impossible for women to work with" in The Witcher Seasons 2 and 3. He would "overrule" the showrunner by wanting to have last-minute changes. 

It's worth noting that Deuxmoi is not a reliable source, given that a lot of the information shared from the account is made anonymously, and it could be made up. 

Whatever the case, Cavill's departure is a tough pill to swallow for diehard fans of the show. 

All three seasons of The Witcher are streaming on Netflix.

Read more about The Witcher on The Direct:

The Witcher Season 4: Release, Cast & Everything We Know

Why The Witcher Season 3 Is Such a Disappointment to Fans

The Witcher: New Data Reveals Viewership for Henry Cavill's Goodbye

- In This Article: The Witcher (Season 3 Part 2)
Release Date
July 27, 2023
Anya Chalotra
Freya Allan
- About The Author: Aeron Mer Eclarinal
Aeron is a news/features writer and Content Lead for The Direct who has been working for the site since March 2020. From writing about the inter-connectivity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to having an extended knowledge about DC TV's Arrowverse, Aeron's expertise has since expanded into the realm of reality TV, K-drama, animated, and live-action shows from Netflix,  Disney+, Prime Video, MGM+, Peacock, Paramount+, and Max. When he isn't writing and watching all things MCU, Aeron is heavily invested with the NBA (go Celtics!) and occasionally watches thrilling matches in the WWE.