Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

The Witcher deepfake shows us what it will look like when Liam Hemsworth takes over as Geralt

Published Feb 17th, 2023 2:11PM EST
The Witcher on Netflix
Image: Netflix

If you buy through a BGR link, we may earn an affiliate commission, helping support our expert product labs.

It’s proven to be one of the most controversial casting-related moves for a Netflix series in quite some time — maybe even ever, based on the backlash it generated. Nevertheless, once Season 3 of The Witcher debuts on the streaming giant around mid-year (we don’t have an official release date yet) that will mark the end of Henry Cavill’s run as Geralt, the white-haired monster-hunter at the heart of the fan-favorite show. He’ll be replaced by Liam Hemsworth starting in Season 4, which a large swath of fans sees as a giant middle finger to them.

That’s because, for many of the show’s most ardent supporters, Cavill is the show, having been one of the key forces responsible for bringing the franchise to life on Netflix and making it a success. Thanks, however, to some behind-the-scenes drama that we still don’t know the full extent of — it’s been reported, for example, that Cavill has been unhappy with how the writers have handled the show’s source material — he decided to leave, leading the show to cast Hemsworth in his place.

Is The Witcher still the same show without Cavill as Geralt? Take a look for yourself at the deepfake video below, which replaces Hemsworth, and see what you think.

The Witcher deepfake video

The video was shared in recent days by VFX artist Matthew Anthony Freire via his Youtube channel StryderHD, and it depicts a side-by-side look at Hemsworth as Geralt with Cavill’s actual performance as the character (Hemsworth has simply been superimposed onto that existing footage).

Obviously, the real thing will look smoother and more natural. But this video nevertheless should give fans a clear enough sense of what the show will sort of look like once the Hemsworth era of The Witcher gets underway.

Just don’t expect many — or even any — of them to be happy about it.

A Netflix franchise that’s collapsed before our eyes

The Christmas Day release, almost two months ago now, of Netflix’s 4-episode The Witcher prequel series Blood Origin was but the latest example you could point to for a sense of the widespread dissatisfaction with the franchise.

Just look how atrocious its Rotten Tomatoes scores are — it’s still hanging on to a 31% critics’ score, as well as a seriously abysmal 13% audience score. “A shallow excavation of ancient lore from Andrzej Sapkowski’s fantasy series,” the review site’s critics’ consensus summarizes, “Blood Origin shares ancestral DNA with The Witcher but little of what makes the mothership series memorable.”

Moreover, the debut of that prequel series also came at a time when it felt, at least to me, like the main show’s Season 2 debut was much less of an “event.” It certainly had none of the splash that accompanied the series debut, back when it felt at least temporarily like The Witcher had a chance to be Netflix’s Game of Thrones.

Indeed, the main series’ Rotten Tomatoes audience scores from Season 1 to Season 2 plummeted from 90% to 59%, with many fans pointing to Cavill’s participation as one of its few saving graces.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.

More Entertainment