Minnie Driver, one of the Witcher: Blood Origin spinoff series stars, has defended the upcoming recasting of the series’ protagonist, Geralt of Rivia. The Witcher is a fantasy television series that debuted on Netflix in December 2019.
It is based on the same-named series of books by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, which has also been turned into a successful video game franchise. Henry Cavill filled the part for the first two seasons and a forthcoming third, but Netflix recently revealed that Liam Hemsworth would take over the role for the upcoming fourth season.
In advance of the release of The Witcher: Blood Origin, Entertainment Weekly spoke with Driver. Naturally, while they talked, the hotly debated recasting came up, and Driver supported it. She said that “it’s a fantastic character, and we should have different individuals playing it,” drawing comparisons between Hemsworth’s portrayal of the role and how the lead character of the BBC science fiction series Doctor Who is periodically recast. Below is her complete quote:
Why The Witcher’s Recasting Upsets Fans
The news that Liam Hemsworth will play Geralt scandalized audiences for several reasons. First, any fan will naturally resist such a significant change, especially because Hemsworth will still be portraying the same character. Some viewers may find it difficult to comprehend how much the character’s appearance will change given the actors’ stark differences in appearance and age differences of seven years.
The fact that Cavill has grown to enjoy the part adds to the audience’s disappointment. The assumption that he was departing the series to return to the DC Universe as Superman, which was hinted at by the mid-credits sequence of Black Adam and confirmed by the actor himself soon after the movie’s release, was the only consolation that many fans could find in his departure.
The news that Cavill won’t be returning has devastated fans of both the DC Universe and The Witcher because Cavill won’t be portraying either of his iconic characters now that As co-CEOs of DC Studios, James Gunn and Peter Safran have taken charge.
Gunn is developing a new movie with a new actor playing a younger version of the hero.
Other well-known roles that have undergone recasting
Driver notes that while there is an in-universe rationale for The Doctor’s regeneration in Doctor Who, which is a slightly different circumstance, spectators have grown accustomed to the character’s periodic recasting.
But there are some well-known characters, like the legendary superspy James Bond and CIA analyst Jack Ryan, who numerous actors have portrayed throughout their series without any justification.
It will take some getting used to, but if The Witcher continues for many years with a steady ebb and flow of casting, that will ease some of the fans’ concerns about the procedure.