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Can Netflix’s The Witcher Succeed with Henry Cavill as the Lead?

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Have y’all seen the new teaser trailer? If not, watch it here and come back to me. I’ll wait.

Okay, I’m not gonna lie, my gut reaction to that is… unpleasant. Let me just rattle off a few immediate thoughts for you:

  • That wig looks terrible
  • Why is he looking at me like that
  • This eye contact is uncomfortable
  • Superman looks like he’s trying too hard
  • Seriously who thought that wig was okay
  • Aaand now he’s cheesily drinking something

This teaser is literally twenty seconds long. Maybe it’s unfair to be so harsh with it, but whatever. 

I was cautiously optimistic when I first heard that Netflix was taking on the project because Netflix has done some great things: The Crown is an incredible drama and Bojack Horseman has to be among my favorite shows of all times.

For as much as I love some Netflix originals, however, I reserved my true judgment because of absolute atrocities like Iron Fist and Death Note. Iron fist was so bad that I quit watching in favor of cleaning toilets, y’all. And Death note was just such an embarrassment that it was physically painful to watch.

What I’m saying is that while Netflix has the capacity to put out some great projects, they are in no way completely infallible.

I think my biggest issue with the Witcher will be Henry Cavill. I get that they wanted a bigger name to attach to the project, but given the very marginal success of the Man of Steel Franchise, why choose him? Additionally, they’ve chosen a very boyish and clean-cut actor to play a gritty, rough-around-the-edges Geralt, and that choice seems questionable at best.

I realize the decision to choose a younger actor probably comes from where in Geralt’s timeline the story takes place, and I’m okay with that. The Witcher III game takes place much later in his life, so it makes sense that Geralt would be much younger looking and have considerably less scarring. I can get behind all of that. I just don’t think I can get behind Cavill himself.

Is it possible for actors to surprise audiences? Absolutely! Take arguably the most notable example – Heath Ledger in the Dark Knight. Ledger and the film were harshly criticized since prior to that project, he had been not much more than a heartthrob in a series of chick flicks. Ledger astounded audiences and critics alike, and he is now posthumously touted as one of the finest cinematic villain performances of all time.

But Henry Cavill?

He is best known as Superman in what attempted to be a gritty reimagining of the character and has repeatedly failed to deliver the dark, broody, tortured performance the films required. Most of his serious faces look more confused than anything else. And looking back over the volume of his work, it’s unclear whether he has ever had the acting chops to hold his own.

Most of the movies he has starred in have received less than a 60 Metascore from metacritic.com. Recent films Nomis and Mission Impossible: Fallout are the only two films with Cavill in a lead role in to have a positive critical reception.

I can’t tell if his agent should be fired for putting him in such terrible films or get a raise for getting him such high profile roles.

I truly, honestly hope I’m wrong about this. The Witcher is an amazing fantasy universe full of incredible folklore and some of the best twists on classic tropes I have ever experienced. I want The Witcher to be phenomenal, I really do. I guess only time will tell.

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Richard

    December 19, 2018 at 4:02 am

    Netflix will do anything to flip a profit , we have seen more and more big stars getting Netflix roles but I agree it’s mixed results at best.

    • Kayla Milam

      December 19, 2018 at 4:10 am

      Exactly. I guess I’ll reserve my final judgement until I see what actually comes of it.

  2. Kj

    December 19, 2018 at 4:05 am

    I love him as Superman! Probably not my first choice for a mutant monster killer but he can surprise us!

  3. Britay233

    December 20, 2018 at 10:57 pm

    Henry Cavill = ewww

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