Netflix’s The Witcher TV show casts Henry Cavill in the lead role as Geralt of Rivia for the upcoming series based on the game by CD Projekt Red. Netflix has found a great deal of success with their original television series, from original dramas House of Cards and Sense8 to their Marvel Comics adaptations including Daredevil and Luke Cage. Their original series span a wide variety of genres – so much so that there’s essentially something for everyone. Now, Netflix is also getting into video game adaptations with their upcoming series based on The Witcher game universe.
It was first announced in May 2017 that Netflix was developing a Witcher TV show, with Lauren Schmidt Hissrich (Daredevil, The Defenders) later joining as showrunner to shepherd the adaptation to streaming screens. Hissrich has been open about the Witcher TV show on social media, promising it won’t water down the content and offering regular updates on the process of development. Now, The Witcher takes a major step forward by casting the TV show’s lead character.
Today, Netflix announced Henry Cavill has been cast in the lead role of The Witcher TV show as Geralt of Rivia. The actor had previously expressed interest in playing Geralt, with fan art even imagining Cavill as the Witcher character. However, now it’s official that the Justice League and Mission: Impossible – Fallout star will lead the yet to be revealed cast of The Witcher series.
In addition to Hissrich, who also serves as executive producer on The Witcher, Alik Sakharov (Game of Thrones) is on board to executive produce and direct the first four episodes of the show’s eight-episode debut season. The remaining episodes will be directed by Alex Garcia Lopez (Luke Cage) and Charlotte Brändström (Outlander). Based on the game series by CD Projekt Red – which is based on the novels by Andrzej Sapkowski – The Witcher will follow the solitary monster hunter Geralt of Rivia as he “struggles to find his place in a world where people often prove more wicked than beasts.” He’ll cross paths with a “powerful sorceress” and a “young princess with a dangerous secret,” and together they’ll need to learn how to survive in a story said to be about “fate and family.”
For Cavill’s part, this will be his first television role since starring in Showtime’s The Tudors from 2007-2010. He’s since largely received big screen roles, playing Warner Bros’ latest iteration of Superman in Man of Steel, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League. It’s unclear whether Cavill’s new role in The Witcher will affect any upcoming appearances in the DC movie universe, but with Netflix’s show only being eight episodes, it will likely take up less of his time than a 22-episode network drama.
As for Cavill’s casting in The Witcher, he’s obviously a lot younger than Geralt typically looks in the games. With white hair and a scarred face, Netflix could have cast an older actor for the role. But Cavill has said before that he’s a fan of the fantasy universe as created by the books on which the game is based, so he’s undoubtedly eager to play Geralt. Whether he turns out to be the Geralt fans had in mind remains to be seen. As Netflix continues developing the TV adaptation, casting the remaining roles and getting filming underway, we’ll learn more about what to expect from The Witcher before it hits the streaming platform.
The Witcher TV show is expected to premiere on Netflix sometime in 2020.