Netflix's 'The Witcher' TV Series Casts Henry Cavill As Geralt

Henry Cavill will trade fighting Kryptonians for fighting medieval monsters. The Justice League actor has been cast in Netflix's The Witcher TV series as the titular Witcher, Geralt of Rivia. Cavill will lead the cast in an 8-episode Netflix series developed by Lauren Schmidt Hissrich.

Six months after Netflix announced the development of The Witcher as a TV series, Cavill has been cast in the lead role. In the fantasy series based on the best-selling Polish novels by Andrzej Sapkowski (which inspired a massively popular series of video games), Cavill will play the genetically-enhanced soldier Geralt of Rivia, a "witcher" who hunts monsters and defends the Continent from the folklorish supernatural creatures.

Here is the logline for the series, straight from Netflix:

Based on the best-selling fantasy series, The Witcher is an epic tale of fate and family. Geralt of Rivia, a solitary monster hunter, struggles to find his place in a world where people often prove more wicked than beasts. But when destiny hurtles him toward a powerful sorceress, and a young princess with a dangerous secret, the three must learn to navigate the increasingly volatile Continent together.

Though Cavill has proven his range recently with his (literal) powerhouse turn in Mission: Impossible — Fallout, his role in The Witcher is worlds away from anything Cavill has ever done. Typically depicted as an gruff, callous, and aged monster killer, Geralt is a character completely and intentionally devoid of all of Cavill's natural charisma.

The Witcher showrunner Hissrich herself describes the TV series' Geralt along the lines of the protagonist of the popular video game franchise, painting him as "Stoic. Circumspect. Balanced. Fierce," but also "Soft-and-squishy-in-a-tiny-place-in-his-heart-that-he'll-never-reveal-until-maybe-the-end-and-even-then-it-will-just-be-a-hint." Sounds like the guy's got layers, which I'm  sure Cavill could tap into. As for the "aged monster killer part," well, there's nothing a little old-age make-up and a white wig can't handle.

Interestingly, the Netflix series will adapt the original novels by Sapkowski and not the wildly popular video game franchise that those novels spawned. CD Project Red's video game RPGs further popularized the high fantasy story — reaching its peak with 2015's The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt — and its protagonist, Geralt of Rivia, who was voiced by Doug Cockle in the games. It may be that Netflix is seeking to avoid the video game curse that plagues adaptations of popular video game franchises, tanking them critically and commercially. With a series of novels already in place — and a low-budget European feature adaptation that shows what not to do — Netflix could easily turn this into its own Game of Thrones.

The Witcher TV series will consist of eight episodes, which are set to be directed by Alik Sakharov, Charlotte Brändström, and Alex Garcia Lopez.