As the news sinks in that Henry Cavill is leaving The Witcher after Season 3, fans of the monster hunting franchise have been sifting through old interviews for clues about why the actor really departed the Netflix series. From what they’ve cobbled together, it appears that Cavill may have walked away for reasons other than getting another stab at Superman. In fact, there may be an entirely culprit altogether: bad writing.
Adding fuel to the fire is a recent interview with writer Beau DeMayo who recently outed The Witcher‘s writer room for scoffing at the source material.
“I’ve been on show – namely Witcher – where some of the writers were not or actively disliked the books and games (even actively mocking the source material),” DeMayo told IGN. “It’s a recipe for disaster and bad morale. Fandom as a litmus test checks egos and makes all the long nights worth it. You have to respect the work before you’re allowed to add to its legacy.”
Fans also begin to zero in on a 2021 feature story about Cavill where Witcher showrunner Lauren Hissrich inadvertently revealed his frustration with the writing on the series. Specifically, Cavill wanted Geralt to hew closer to the source material and make Geralt more verbose instead of speaking mainly in a series of grunts.
In particular, Cavill wanted Geralt to open up more to the audience. “A lot of the notes he was sending to me were about Geralt’s dialogue — could he, first of all, say more,” Hissrich says. “Everybody came out of season one laughing and loving Geralt’s fuming. But Henry was saying that when you read the books you spend a lot of time in Geralt’s head. So how can we put that on the page? Meanwhile, I wanted to tell the story of him becoming a father figure to Ciri. So those two things coalesced wonderfully. He opens up to get Ciri to trust him, by speaking his mind and his heart more.”
As other seemingly throwaway lines in interviews were unearthed, it really started to look like Cavill was not loving the direction of The Witcher and wanted out. The quotes led to a viral tweet that painted a damning picture of the actor’s frustration:
henry cavill has been fighting the show-runners for years and it looks like he finally gave up his fight 😢 pic.twitter.com/2E7nlAKtgK
— ariel 🪴 (@cursedhat) October 29, 2022
Of course, when you have an intense amount of fan frustration, you’re ultimately going to end up with a petition. As of this writing, nearly 18,000 fans have signed a Change.org page demanding that Netflix fire the writers and retool the show to honor the source material so Cavill will stay in the role of Geralt.
“Let us show them in pure numbers (and thus lost money, because that’s all they really care about) that none of us Witcher fans will stand with them and will abandon the show (and potentially our subscriptions) after The Witcher season 3 is concluded,” the petition reads.