In light of the news that Henry Cavill has voluntarily declined to return to Netflix’s The Witcher, fans of the series have launched a petition asking the streaming giant to do what they can to entice the now-former star back into the boots of Geralt of Rivia – starting with a full replacement of the adaptation’s writing team.
Opened on October 31st by an individual purportedly named Stef Ma, the change.org campaign urges, “Netflix: You MUST keep Henry Cavill as The Witcher and replace the writers instead,” urges the petition.
“Andrzej Sapkowski himself said about Henry Cavill: ‘I was more than happy with Henry Cavill’s appearance as The Witcher, he’s a real professional. Just as Viggo Mortensen gave his face to Aragorn, so Henry gave his to Geralt and it shall be forever so,” Ma introduced the petition, citing comments given by The Witcher creator in a 2019 interview with People Magazine.
“Henry isn’t leaving The Witcher because of Superman, Netflix executives have once again made a grave decision against delivering for their fans,” they argued.
“The reason why The Witcher is such a popular show is the fans’ love of the source material of books and games, that are hated by and have actively been mocked by the writers and showrunner,” Ma continued. “Henry Cavill is one of those big fans, he knows all of it inside out and wanted to stay true to Sapkowski’s world, which is why Netflix wants to replace him.”
Moving to rally the public to the cause, Ma asserted, “Let us show them in pure numbers (and thus lost money, because that’s all they really care about) that none of us Witcher fans will stand with them and will abandon the show (and potentially our subscriptions) after The Witcher season 3 is concluded.
“Netflix can only exist because all of us pay them monthly to produce content that is entertaining for us, unfortunately all public information points towards a production team making decisions that are completely opposite to the fans’ – our – interests,” they declared.
“We already had to suffer through the disaster that was the end of Game of Thrones,” Ma cautioned in conclusion to the petition’s mission statement. “NETFLIX don’t repeat the exact same mistake of holding onto writers and showrunners that believe themselves to be superior to the actual creator of the stories that made them successful.”
As of writing, Ma’s petition has accrued 73,743 signatures – far more than its original goal of 50,000, but just shy of its most recently updated endgame, 75,000.
After three seasons of watching Netflix butcher author Andrzej Sapkowski original work, Cavill announced his exit from the streaming giant’s live-action adaptation of The Witcher on October 29th.
Taking to his personal Instagram account, the Superman actor informed fans that “My journey as Geralt of Rivia has been filled with both monsters and adventures, and alas, I will be laying down my medallion and my swords for Season 4.”
“In my stead, the fantastic Mr Liam Hemsworth will be taking up the mantle of the White Wolf,” he then revealed. “As with the greatest of literary characters, I pass the torch with reverence for the time spent embodying Geralt and enthusiasm to see Liam’s take on this most fascinating and nuanced of men.”
Concluding his post with a well-wish for the Hunger Games star, Cavill asserted, “Liam, good sir, this character has such a wonderful depth to him, enjoy diving in and seeing what you can find.”
Though the Superman actor did not give an exact reason for his decision to exit The Witcher, many fans have speculated that – in addition to his newly renewed duties as the Man of Steel – he may have done so due to the sheer disrespect the Netflix production team showed Sapkowski’s original works.
Asked by The Hollywood Reporter in November 2021 ahead of the series’ second season premiere if he planned on staying on for the “seven seasons” of The Witcher Hissrich had reportedly already planned out, Cavill declared, “Absolutely.”
“As long as we can keep telling great stories which honor [author Andrzej] Sapkowski’s work,” he concluded.
Cavill’s final season of The Witcher is currently set to hit Netflix sometime in Summer 2023.