The Witcher showrunner Lauren Hissrich opened up about Henry Cavill's departure from the series in a new interview this week. Hissrich is promoting The Witcher: Blood Origin, but this is also her first chance to publicly address some controversial stories rocking the fandom right now. That includes recasting Geralt of Rivia and the rumors that some writers on the show are not so passionate about this franchise.
Netflix announced in October that Cavill would be leaving The Witcher after the upcoming Season 3, and that starting in Season 4 Liam Hemsworth will play Geralt of Rivia. The news was shocking and it led fans to speculate wildly about the reason – especially since Cavill is a self-professed fan of the source material. Many figured that Cavill must not be happy with the way the show has deviated from the original books by Andrzej Sapkowski, though so far the reason for his departure has not been clearly stated by either him or Netflix.
In an interview with TechRadar on Monday, Hissrich acknowledged this massive news without offering much new insight. She said: "It's a big deal for us, too. And that's the thing – there's a lot of talk and rumors about and we fully understand why fans are going there." Hissrich asked fans to give Season 3 and Season 4 a chance while adding that she hoped this fiasco wouldn't distract attention from Blood Origin, as the team behind it has worked hard for their moment in the spotlight.
"What I will say is please come back for The Witcher season three so that we can continue to do this," she said. "Obviously, that [Cavill's departure] is huge news. But what I don't want to do is – this has to stay about Blood Origin, Declan [de Barra, Blood Origin's showrunner], the cast, and the crew. This is their time in the spotlight."
In other interviews, Hissrich expressed similar sentiments along with her excitement for Season 3 and Season 4. Meanwhile, on Instagram, she responded to former writer Beau DeMayo's claim that "some of the writers" on The Witcher "were not [fans] or actively disliked the books and games (even actively mocking the source material)." Hissrich complimented DeMayo on his work on the franchise, pointing out that some of his scripts deviated from the original series. She then refuted his claims about the jaded writing staff.
so much is being said, let me add my piece: lauren is one of the best showrunners i've known, the writers are among the most dedicated and supportive ever, season 3 has some of cavill's (and our) best work, and what comes after will blow people's minds! https://t.co/uWyhpBwPba— javier grillo-marxuach (@OKBJGM) December 5, 2022
"I've never mocked the books. The books are my entire livelihood," Hissrich wrote. "I have a great relationship with Mr. Sapkowski, and writers' rooms are sacred and safe supportive spaces. Don't believe everything you read." Other writers shared similar sentiments on social media, indicating that DeMayo may have simply misinterpreted comments made in the writers' room.
For better or worse, speculations about the drama behind the scenes is sure to continue coloring the reception of The Witcher franchise going forward. Blood Origin premieres on Dec. 25, 2022, while Season 3 is expected to premiere sometime in the summer of 2023 only on Netflix.