Henry Cavill will not return as Geralt of Rivia in Netflix hit “The Witcher,” despite losing his Superman role following a shake-up of the DC Extended Universe.
“We can confirm there are no changes to Season 4 of The Witcher,” Netflix told CNN in a statement on Friday.
Peter Friedlander, Netflix’s head of US and Canada scripted series, first addressed the decision to continue season 4 with Liam Hemsworth as the lead during a wide-ranging Variety interview published Wednesday.
“Henry is an extraordinary Geralt and I think Liam will continue and also be an extraordinary Geralt,” Friedlander said.
He added that he was confident the casting switch wouldn’t change the show’s popularity, because “there has been a legacy of amazing, iconic characters where the actors have changed and we’re hugely optimistic about this. We will continue to honor the IP, the fans, the storytelling, all the way through.”
Cavill announced his departure from “The Witcher” in October, days after revealing he was reprising the part of Superman. He told fans at the time that he was passing the torch with “enthusiasm to see Liam’s take on this most fascinating and nuanced of men.”
While the British actor did not offer a reason for his exit, it was widely speculated that he left the Netflix series to commit to his return as Superman, the DC Comics character he first portrayed in the 2013 film “Man of Steel.” He even made a cameo appearance as Superman in a mid-credits scene at the end of “Black Adam,” the DC film starring Dwayne Johnson.
However, things took an unexpected turn this week when it was revealed that Cavill would not be donning the red cape again after being dropped from the role. Director and writer James Gunn, who joined DC Studios as co-chair with Peter Safran in October, confirmed plans to write a new Superman movie that would focus on a younger version of the superhero. (Like CNN, DC Studios is a subsidiary of Warner Bros. Discovery)
“It’s sad news, everyone. I will, after all, not be returning as Superman,” Cavill wrote on Instagram on Wednesday. “After being told by the studio to announce my return back in October, prior to their hire, this news isn’t the easiest, but that’s life. The changing of the guard is something that happens. I respect that.”
The news reignited calls for Netflix to recast Cavill instead of allowing Hemsworth to take over, with one fan tweeting: “@netflix so can you get Henry Cavill back as Geralt for #theWitcher since he’s not doing Superman anymore…no hate on Liam Hemsworth but the series will tank without Cavill.”