The Witcher showrunner explains why they didn’t end show after Henry Cavill’s exit

Total Film exclusive image: The Witcher season 3
(Image credit: Netflix)

The Witcher season 3 is arriving on Netflix very soon, and Total Film magazine has an exclusive new look at the show. Taken from the upcoming issue, which is out on newsstands on May 25, the image sees Henry Cavill back as Geralt of Rivia as he prepares to fight a new threat.

The new season begins with the White Wolf reluctantly united with Yennefer as they try to keep Ciri safe. But this will be no easy task for the pair when it seems like everyone in the Continent has their eyes on the young girl.

"The core of The Witcher is all about family," says showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich. "And this is the point at which our family finally gets a chance to be together for the first time and actually start imagining a future together. And so I was really excited to finally deliver that promise to the audience… to get to that place where there could be some happiness. But it’s The Witcher… so of course that doesn’t last!"

As well as plenty of peril for the beloved characters, the upcoming season also marks Cavill's last in the lead role, after the actor announced he was stepping away from the show. "It was time for him in his life to move on," offers Hissrich, who admits it was tough news to take. "I think we’ve all been mourning this in our own way." 

Did she consider halting the show with Cavill’s departure? "I mean, we had the choice to have Geralt exit and to end the show. [But] that’s not something that we were willing to do. There’s just too many stories left to tell." Likewise, "If we replaced Geralt with another Witcher, we would be going fully away from the books, and I don’t think that’s what anyone wanted either."

With Hissrich currently in London making detailed preparations for season 4, she already has her Geralt lined up: The Hunger Games star Liam Hemsworth. "We’re all excited about Liam coming in," she says. "He’s got enormous shoes to fill, but also has a lot of energy and a lot of excitement for it. It’s obviously a brand-new chapter for us. And there’s a lot of feelings involved. But at the end of the day, we love what we’re doing. So we’re gonna keep going."

The Witcher season 3, part 1 is on Netflix from June 29 with part 2 arriving on July 27. The above is just a snippet of our interview in the new issue of Total Film magazine, which features Christopher Nolan's epic Oppenheimer on the cover. The magazine hits shelves this Thursday, May 25. Check out the covers below:

Total Film cover

(Image credit: Total Film)

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Total Film cover

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Freelance writer

James Mottram is a freelance film journalist, author of books that dive deep into films like Die Hard and Tenet, and a regular guest on the Total Film podcast. You'll find his writings on GamesRadar+ and Total Film, and in newspapers and magazines from across the world like The Times, The Independent, The i, Metro, The National, Marie Claire, and MindFood. 

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