Henry Cavill Leaves 'The Witcher,' Geralt Recast With 'Hunger Games' Actor

Henry Cavill is walking away from the successful Netflix adaptation of The Witcher, a series where he plays the lead role, Geralt of Rivia. The shocking update was delivered by the actor himself, revealing the news via his Instagram. He also noted that Netflix has already found a replacement to fill the Geralt role: Liam Hemsworth. Hemsworth is best known for his work as Gale Hawthorne in the Hunger Games film franchise.

"Some news to share from The Continent… 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 announced on Instagram. "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 then added a direct message to Hemsworth, writing, "Liam, good sir, this character has such a wonderful depth to him, enjoy diving in and seeing what you can find." 

Hemsworth, who some will know as the ex-husband of Miley Cyrus and brother of Thor star Chris Hemsworth, also confirmed the recasting on his own Instagram account. "As a Witcher fan I'm over the moon about the opportunity to play Geralt of Rivia," Hemsworth wrote. "Henry Cavill has been an incredible Geralt, and I'm honoured that he's handing me the reins and allowing me to take up the White Wolf's blades for the next chapter of his adventure. "

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(Photo: VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)

Hemsworth replied with a note of his own to Cavill, writing, "Henry, I've been a fan of yours for years and was inspired by what you brought to this beloved character. I may have some big boots to fill, but I'm truly excited to be stepping into The Witcher world."

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No reason for the recasting has surfaced as press time. Fans' speculation will likely turn to Cavill's recently solidified return to Warner Bros.' movie universe based on DC Comics properties. He will reprise his role of Superman / Clark Kent, which he first played in Zack Snyder's 2013 movie Man of Steel, in future films. Starring in both a sprawling Netflix fantasy show and the big-budget superhero universe would likely be taxing on Cavill's well-being and schedule. Netflix could also be looking to shed some budget on the popular series as it gets deeper into its run, and Hemsworth's rate is likely lower than Cavill's.

The Witcher is a huge hit for Netflix, so it's understandable why they'd risk recasting if Cavill wasn't game to return. Season 1 racked up 541 million hours in viewing in its first 28 days on Netflix, and Season 2 followed suit with 484 million hours watched, according to Business Insider. It is based on author Andrzej Sapkowski's fantasy saga of the same name, which has also been turned into a massively successful video game franchise that has spawned hits like 2015's The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.