Netflix’s popular action fantasy adventure The Witcher is set to return in the Summer of 2023, but it will be the last time lead actor Henry Cavill will don the White Wolf’s infamous silver hair.
It was a shocker to everyone when Cavill announced on October 30, 2022, that he is stepping down from playing the lead Geralt of Rivia ahead of season 4.
The lamentable news eclipsed the reports of Netflix renewing The Witcher for a fourth season.
Cavill shared in the same announcement that Liam Hemsworth (The Last Song, Hunger Games) will take up the mantle of Geralt. Hemsworth responded that he was “over the moon about the opportunity.”
The cast change shook the fandom, and doubts about the series’ continuation began to surface since Cavill is considered a major draw for the show.
Fans wonder whether Hemsworth can fill such big, daunting shoes, and everyone is sure to miss the lead actor’s characteristic snarls of short profanities and the occasional ‘Hmms’.
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The Witcher Season 3 Release Date
The Witcher Season 3 Release Date (Estimate)
Countdown to July 5, 2023 at 10:00 AM (UTC)
Cavill also presented a behind-the-scenes video with co-stars Anya Chalotra and Freya Allan, who play Yennefer of Vengerberg and Princess Cirilla of Cintra, respectively.
The two leading actresses will also share more scenes in season 3 than ever before. “We’ve got a lot to learn from each other,” Chalotra shared.
The Witcher Season 3 Release Date, Trailer
Season 3 should be in post-production now, but a trailer has yet to be released.
In the meantime, please enjoy the trailer of the series’ first season, which introduced fans to a new world of swords and sorcery.
After five months of filming, The Witcher‘s third season’s production concluded in early September 2022.
Executive producer Steven Gaub confirmed the news on Instagram last September 11, 2022, as he shared a picture of a prop skull, with the caption, “And that’s a picture wrap on Season 3 of @witchernetflix !!”
The director of the final two episodes, Bola Ogun, also shared similar news on her Instagram stories, saying “That’s a wrap!!!”
Witcher fansite Redanian Intelligence also shared a photo of a pleasant letter from Cavill for the show’s cast and crew on the filming’s last day.
“I just wanted to thank you all for your determination and dedication through a tough shoot. Hopefully, you can all get some well-deserved rest,” Cavill wrote in the letter.
The filming was temporarily stopped in July 2022 following a COVID-19 outbreak on set; there were even rumors that Cavill himself got infected.
Most cast members reprised their roles for season 3, with the lead of Cavill as Geralt, Chalotra as Yennefer, and Allan as Ciri.
New cast members and characters were also introduced for season 3: Robbie Amell as Gallatin, Meng’er Zhang as Milva, Hugh Skinner as Prince Radovid, and Christelle Elwin as Mistle.
Redanian Intelligence also reported more castings, but Netflix has yet to verify these.
The Witcher Story and Season 3 Expectations
The series centers eponymous “witcher,” Geralt of Rivia, a beast hunter trained from a young age to develop supernatural abilities.
Geralt gets involved in a tricky situation and becomes linked with Crown Princess Ciri of Cintra through the Law of Surprise.
Through such a destiny-altering custom, Geralt unknowingly gained the princess as his reward when he saved the princess’ father.
The TV series explores the stories of Geralt, Ciri, and another character, Yennefer of Vengerberg, at different points in time.
The three characters are slowly shaped by the events around them until the points in time converge where they finally meet.
Season 1 ends with Geralt meeting Ciri for the first time.
The second season focuses more on Ciri and how she deals with her grief and identity.
While it enjoys great reviews, season 2 also diverts more from the original books compared to the first season, much to the disappointment of The Witcher‘s hardcore fans.
With season 2 eliciting a divisive audience response, should season 3 fail to satisfy viewers’ expectations, Netflix might just decide to axe the show.
The streaming giant is known to cancel promising shows without really concluding their stories.
Fans of the show were again skillfully led to a cliffhanger, where a major character was revealed and is related to Ciri (get spoiled at your own risk).
Season 3 should build upon this jaw-dropping information, with characters of previous seasons coming back to continue their stories.
The hunt for Ciri and her ancestry will continue to play a significant role in the next season, and Yennefer and Geralt will be tied to the Ciri train for a longer time as they fend off pursuers.
The Witcher‘s showrunner Lauren Hissrich revealed in an exclusive interview with TechRadar that the upcoming season is based on the Time of Contempt.
Time of Contempt, author Andrzej Sapkowski’s second novel in the Witcher Saga, will see the leading trio go on a journey to Aretuza, where Ciri gets to train and master her magic.
The official plot synopsis for season 3 reads: “As monarchs, mages, and beasts of the Continent compete to capture her, Geralt takes Ciri of Cintra into hiding, determined to protect his newly-reunited family against those who threaten to destroy it.”
The Witcher News
The Witcher TV series is an action fantasy drama created by Hissrich based for Netflix based on the book series of the same name written by Sapkowski.
Season 1 was released on Netflix on December 20, 2019, and was based on The Last Wish and Sword of Destiny.
These books were collections of short stories that predated the main saga’s storyline.
The second season, based on the first novel in The Witcher series Blood of Elves, was released on December 17, 2021.
The Witcher‘s inception and subsequent successful release in late 2019 paved the way for more stories from the Continent.
In 2021, Netflix released a dark fantasy animated film called The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf.
It’s a spin-off prequel that focuses on the origin story of Geralt’s mentor and fellow witcher, Vesemir.
Another spin-off is the upcoming miniseries The Witcher: Blood Origin, set 1,200 years before the events in the TV series.
It tells the story of the creation of the first Witcher and the events leading to the “Conjunction of the Spheres”.
Slated to premiere on December 25, 2022, Blood Origin stars Sophia Brown, Michelle Yeoh, and Laurence O’Fuarain.
On October 29, 2022, Cavill suddenly announced his departure from the series, leaving the fans brokenhearted.
“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,” Cavill said.
Cavill also introduced the “fantastic” Hemsworth as his replacement in the same announcement, expressing his “enthusiasm to see Liam’s take on this most fascinating and nuanced of men.”
Hemsworth shared that he was honored that Cavill’s handed him the reins. “Henry Cavill has been an incredible Geralt,” the Australian actor remarked.
This shocking news outshone the good news that was the early renewal of The Witcher for a fourth season.
The fans are yet to accept the changes and are waiting for how Hemsworth will fill the shoes that Cavill left behind.
Many fans rejoiced when they saw Cavill’s perfect portrayal of the White Wolf. Hence their dismay was apparent when they learned of his departure from the show.
A Change.org petition was even launched, nudging Netflix to persuade Cavill to stay and replace the show’s writers instead.
While official reports reveal that Cavill’s departure probably has something to do with his return to the DC Universe, fans did not buy it since the actor only agreed to cameos, and that the changes in DC Studios’ leadership slowed down plans for Superman.
Many speculations circulated, but one spoken by fans on forums and comments is about the disagreement between Cavill and the writers regarding the direction of the show’s story.
Cavill is a well-known superfan of the Witcher lore, making his portrayal a dream role for him and the franchise fans.
He has always been as vocal as other Witcher fans when it comes to the story’s TV portrayal, expressing his wish multiple times for the show to stick more closely to Sapkowski’s vision.
In the Summer of 2021, there were already reports about Cavill wanting to leave the show after the second season due to him and the producers “not seeing eye to eye.”
During The Witcher: Unlocked interview in December 2021, Cavill affirmed that he has always been a huge fan of the books and that he wanted to stay loyal to the story.
“It’s about making sure that story happens without too much in the way of diversions or side things going on to muddy the waters,” he added.
Even the author himself gushed about how he loved Cavill as the Geralt of his books, even comparing him to Viggo Mortensen in giving face to Aragorn of The Lord of the Rings.
“I was more than happy with Henry Cavill’s appearance as The Witcher,” Sapkowski said. “He’s a real professional… so Henry gave his to Geralt — and it shall be forever so.”
Showrunner Hissrich said she understood why fans are dismayed by the turn of events.
Still, the showrunner earnestly requested the Witcher fans to stick with the show.
In the cover story of The Hollywood Reporter’s November 2021 issue featuring Cavill, the actor revealed that he planned to follow through with Hissrich’s goal of at least seven seasons.
“As long as we can keep telling great stories which honor Sapkowski’s work,” Cavill asserted.