The casting process is moving ahead at full steam for Netflix’s live-action adaptation of The Witcher novels, and each decision made by the show’s producers so far seems be met with some sort of push back. The main piece of casting for The Witcher so far has been that of Henry Cavill in the lead role of Geralt aka “The Witcher.”
When the news first broke I was genuinely disappointed in Cavill’s casting as I felt like they had cast Henry Cavill because they could get him, rather than because he was perfect for the role. But according to showrunner Lauren S. Hissrich this was just not the case. In a lengthy interview about all things The Witcher with THR, Hissrich was asked if they had intentionally cast lesser-known actors to appear alongside Cavill who was already a huge star. Here is what the producer told the outlet.
“Not specifically, nor were we looking for a movie star when we cast Henry. We’re looking for the best actors for these roles. Period. End of story. It comes down to the best actor for the role. Henry’s obviously a big fan of the franchise. We met in early April and had a very general meeting. I then went off and met with hundreds of other candidates for Geralt and never really got Henry out of my mind. In casting Anya and Freya, the cool thing was we were open to anyone and both of them, to me, embody the spirits of the characters.”
To be fair we would not expect the showrunner to decide to fess up and admit that having a huge star like Cavill is good for marketability, but that doesn’t mean she is not being completely genuine when she talks about Cavill as Geralt. My own main concerns I must admit were biased by the image of Geralt as he appears in the video game series by CDPR. Of course, this is just an interpretation of that character, whereas what Netflix is doing here is their own take on this universe based on the source novels. My worry for Cavill is still his size, that he is just too buff to be playing a nomadic sword for hire, who may go long times without food.
Hissrich also spoke to THR about how she had to force herself to stop playing the games, because of this very reason. Because she had to get those images out of her head and design these characters on their own, which to be fair is a point I never initially considered. Here is what she said about the games muddying the waters.
“It does muddy the water a little bit for me. I’m a huge fan of the games. That being said, what I really tried to steer away from is that the video games right now are the sole visual representation of these stories and we needed to create our own visual representation. As I’ve been developing the series I’ve actually pulled back from playing the video games because I wanted to make sure the show we were creating was its own unique thing.”
I am a fan of the stories presented here more than the look and as such, I won’t judge Cavill on his performance until I actually see him deliver that performance. I genuinely hope I am pleasantly surprised.
What do you think of Hissirich’s comments? Share any thoughts you have in the usual place below.
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