In the wake of former series star Henry Cavill’s exit from the Netflix series and his replacement by The Hunger Games star Liam Hemsworth, The Witcher showrunner Lauren Hisrich has set out to try and assure audiences that the continued adventures of Geralt are indeed worth tuning in for.
As first observed by Eurogamer‘s Victoria Kennedy, during her various interviews throughout the recent December 3rd UK press day for the upcoming prequel series The Witcher: Blood Origin, Hisrich did her best to convince those in attendance that The Witcher‘s loss of Cavill was nothing to worry about.
Speaking with IGN, the showrunner asserted that, in the aftermath of Cavill’s exit, “What I’m excited about is allowing this franchise to continue growing, and that we get new energy and chemistry that we haven’t discovered yet.”
“And to me that’s part of the fun of television; you don’t know where exactly the adventure is going to end,” she bafflingly added, given that the ending of Geralt’s specific adventure was already laid out in Andrzej Sapkowski’s original novels. “So it’s something I’m really excited about.”
“You know, I will say that change is also energy,” she similarly explained to Decider. “Change also brings about different energy. So, to us, that’s just part of continuing to roll forward into this franchise.”
Providing Collider with a similarly brief answer when asked about the series’ upcoming shooting schedule, Hissrich told the outlet, “Honestly, I’m really excited for Witcher Season 4. I think it’s going to be fantastic.”
“I can’t wait to get started,” said the showrunner. “We’re not there. So right now, I just really want to keep the focus on Blood Origin and all of this amazing work.”
Asked by TechRadar for her thoughts on the backlash to Cavill’s departure, much of which based on the fan belief that the series’ mistreatment of the source material drove the actor away, Hissrich claimed, “It’s a big deal for us, too.”
“And that’s the thing – there’s a lot of talk and rumors about and we fully understand why fans are going there,” she continued.
“What I will say [to fans] is please come back for The Witcher season three so that we can continue to do this,” implored Hissrich. “Obviously, [Cavill’s exit] is huge news. But what I don’t want to do is – this has to stay about Blood Origin, [series showrunner] Declan de Barra, the cast, and the crew. This is their time in the spotlight.”
Later that same day, in response to her sharing of the premiere trailer for Blood Origin to her personal Instagram account, Hissrich would face further criticism over her handling of the show.
In turn, Hissrich would seemingly attempt to extend olive branches to a number of her critics, all the while attempting to court some level of optimism among them towards the upcoming post-Cavill era of The Witcher.
“You know, I get that you may be a fan and everything, but that doesn’t justify the fact that you have turned this show into something way different (and worse according to most people) from what we all liked from the books,” wrote user @_gwynblath_.
“I totally hear if you didn’t like it,” replied the showrunner. “There are lots of people who did, though. Literally millions and millions of them.”
“Are they lesser fans?” she then asked. “Or do they just like different things? Or maybe there’s room for many different versions of these stories? I hope so. But I understand if you’re disappointed. Wishing you the best.”
“Is it true that you see yourselves above the source material?” inquired @kierkegardian. “Tbh this show had a much higher potential it could’ve been the next LOTR killer but you and your directive team just made it into a generic fantasy show.”
“Huh?” said a confused Hissrich. “Abvoe the source material? Never.”
Extending the showrunner the same courtesy she was showing fans, @tru_sith asked, “I’m not attacking you at all, but I want to know exactly what caused Henry to leave as he initially said he would be on board for 7 seasons.”
“We all have much to discuss when S3 press rolls around!!!” exclaimed Hissrich, side-stepping the question. ” For now, I want to keep things focused on Blood Origin — because people worked their asses off to bring this to life. They deserve some time in the spotlight.”
The Witcher: Blood Origin is set to premiere on Netflix on December 25, 2022.
Meanwhile, the third season of The Witcher is currently on track to debut sometime in Summer 2023.