When Netflix announced that it had cast Superman star Henry Cavill in the role of Geralt of Rivia in its upcoming adaptation of Andrzej Sapkowski’s Witcher fantasy series, there were a few voices of discontent. Not because anyone doubted Cavill's talent as an actor, but rather that he didn't seem to 'fit' the character, given his previous body of work.
Such fears were quickly allayed upon the arrival of the first trailer, and now, in an interview with GQ Magazine, Cavill has pretty much put our minds at rest when it comes to the casting decision – in fact, it sounds more and more like he was born to play this particular role.
Cavill has already stated that he's a huge fan of the Witcher 3, even going as far as to state his affection for the title on TV, but in this new GQ interview he expands on just how important the game is to him as a player. Cavill admits that he's a keen gamer, saying that: “at home, I get to sit playing games for ridiculous amounts of hours and escape there, because going outside has the opposite effect.”
As has no doubt been the case with many people, his first experience with Sapkowski’s series was via the video games rather than the books – specifically the third entry, which launched on Switch this year. Cavill has finished the game twice over, and is currently halfway through a third playthrough, apparently tinkering with the different difficulty settings.
His experience is certain to gel with a great many players:
It’s all well and good when you’re trying not to stress out, but then I realised I wasn’t chilling out. I just ended up dying at the wrong points and thinking, ‘I should not have left the roads. I don’t know why I left the roads.’ I couldn’t run away fast enough or my attention span dropped for a second or I answered a text and now I’m dead and that’s six or seven hours of gameplay that I’ve just messed up.
Cavill also stresses that he was super-keen to land the role the moment he heard of Netflix's plans, stating that he wanted to 'protect' the lore to ensure the adaptation hit the mark:
I want to do it as true to the lore as possible. For me it was about bringing my love for the character to the show, as a fan – I want to protect it. It would’ve hurt my heart to hear there was a show that I didn’t jump on, [especially] if someone else had a unique and perhaps even brilliant interpretation of Geralt, but one not who I, as a fan, sees.
On top of this, it was apparently Cavill who pushed to incorporate Geralt's use of magical 'signs' to ensure the series would be as true to the source material as possible:
I really wanted to push that in there, because for me the audience must know he can do these things. It mattered to me, because it’s all part of being a Witcher.
Outside of The Witcher 3, Cavill admits that his other current gaming love is Total War: Warhammer II:
There’s just something about those games that I find so satisfying. There’s new DLCs coming out all the time and I’m looking forward to whatever the next one is.
So there you have it; Superman loves him a spot of orc-bashin' as well as trotting around on Roach.
The Witcher arrives on Netflix on December 20th.