The Witcher director hints at why Henry Cavill left the show

The Witcher season 3. Image: Netflix. Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia.
The Witcher season 3. Image: Netflix. Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia. /

The third season of The Witcher has wrapped up on Netflix, and although the general opinion is that it sucked, we thought it was pretty good, or at least better that what came before.

If you ask me, one of the reasons for the generally low opinion of The Witcher season 3 was the foreknowledge that it would be the last to feature lead actor Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia; Starting in season 4, he’ll be replaced by Liam Hemsworth. To this day, no one knows why Cavill chose to leave the show; all we have are theories. And that’s likely all we’ll have until Cavill himself or the producers tell us what really happened.

That said, some folks have more insight than others. Take Marc Jobst, who directed two episodes of The Witcher in its first season. Speaking to Screen Rant, he talked about Cavill’s prodigious commitment to the role, which could suggest part of the reason why he chose to leave it behind.

Henry Cavill went above and beyond filming the fight scenes for The Witcher

“Well, look, Henry has done three series, these are demanding shows to make, you know, they are huge,” Jobst said. “Henry does every single beat of his stunts, he won’t even allow a hand, if you’re doing a close up of a hand grabbing a sword, it has to be his hand. So, normally, what you do is you bring in a double, Henry will go off and shoot some other scene in which he’s in somewhere else, and you get somebody else into the hand, so that you don’t have to bother your number one. Henry won’t do that, and as a result of that, the results are extraordinary. You’re working with an incredible athlete, first and foremost, who works out hours before, and hours after, you’ve been shooting for 12 hours, and who cares deeply about the work that he does.”

"I came in on the first season, and we were shooting in four different countries. That’s taking the whole entourage into different places, learning the stunts, rehearsing the stunts. When we were shooting the swordfight, for example, in the pilot, that’s a big one-shot sequence, and they’re heavy swords. They’re not sharp, but they’re heavy, so if you get them wrong, you can seriously damage somebody. We had a camera operator come in to the show, and I think he was rehearsing that fight sequence for four weeks. Just the camera operator working, learning the dance of the fight, so that he can make sure the camera’s in the right place in order to land the hit without having to make a cut. And then, of course, moving into the second part of that sword fight, which is Renfri, where we stopped the fight from time to time to get the eye contact between the two of them, to get the sense of whether they’re going to kiss or they’re going to kill."

What does all this talk of how dedicated Cavill is to his stuntwork have to do with why he left? Well, it’s possible he needed a break. “That’s draining on your number one, so after three series, I feel, ‘Okay, he’s brought the show into being, and if he feels like he’s done what he can, I trust him,'” Jobst said. “That focus that he has, that desire to get it right, is a gift to work with, because it elevates everybody to say, ‘Good enough isn’t good enough. It’s got to be fantastic.’ We all want to work like that, we all don’t wanna make something that’s good, we want to make something incredible.”

We still don’t know exactly why Henry Cavill quit The Witcher

Ultimately, this doesn’t definitively answer any questions, although it does suggest a new possibility: Henry Cavill quit The Witcher because he was tired. It’s as likely as the next thing.

One day someone will write a tell-all book and we’ll finally figure out what happened behind the scenes. Until then, Liam Hemsworth will take over as Geralt whenever The Witcher season 4 premieres on Netflix, probably sometime in 2025.

As for Jobst, you can see his work in Netflix’s live-action remake of One Piece, which premieres on August 31.

Next. Henry Cavill’s 20 best moments as Geralt of Rivia in The Witcher. dark

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