The Witcher on Netflix: Geralt voice actor likes Henry Cavill casting

By Alysia Judge
Newsbeat reporter

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Doug Cockle is passing the baton to Henry Cavill

Henry Cavill may have pinched his job, but Doug Cockle is pretty upbeat about it.

For over a decade, Doug has voiced the lead character of The Witcher video game series, Geralt.

But now the sword is passing to Henry, who'll play Geralt in a live action adaptation for Netflix.

"I think he's going to be great," Doug tells Newsbeat. "He's going to have a blast!"

The first Witcher video game was released in 2007 and follows Geralt's adventures as a monster hunter in a fantasy land.

Based on a popular Polish novel series, the games have scooped BAFTA nominations and sold over 33 million copies worldwide.

News of Henry Cavill's casting sparked a Twitter storm, with some fans finding it hard to see him in the role.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

But Doug wishes fans wouldn't hold on so tightly to the Geralt they've seen in other places.

"It's not just about Henry Cavill, it's about their love for a character and a world," he says.

"If they've read the books and played the games, they'll have a very specific idea of what this world is.

"Nobody likes change, and the reality is this is going to be a different Witcher.

"It'll have visual differences, it'll have behavioural differences, but it's going to be awesome."

Image source, CD Projekt Red
Image caption,
Geralt is slightly older in the games than the books

The Netflix series will draw heavily from the books instead of the games.

The development studio behind the games, CD Projekt Red, aren't involved in the Netflix production.

Doug believes this gives Henry a much-needed fresh slate.

"I hope he doesn't recreate my performance, actually. Partly because if he tries to recreate my vocal performance, he won't be being true to the Geralt that he needs to create.

"It sounds airy fairy and wishy washy, but as an actor you have to find the aspects of the character within yourself. That's how you find the truth of the character for your own performance."

Image source, Jack Taylor
Image caption,
Henry Cavill will be swapping this suit for fantasy gear

Before the casting was announced, Doug followed online debate over who should take the role.

He liked the idea of Mads Mikkelsen, but says "we needed the Mads Mikkelsen of 20 years ago."

He lights up at the mention of Viggo Mortensen, "but he's Aragorn!" he laughs.

For Doug, Henry Cavill is a Goldilocks - "just right" - casting decision.

"He's already fit. He's got the body for it. The youth to do many of the stunts.

"If we all just give him the space to do his thing and give that team our support, they're going to come up with something awesome that we'll go 'this is different - but you know what? It's cool!'"

The first season of The Witcher on Netflix will be eight episodes long, and showrunner Lauren S. Hissrich has confirmed a pilot script is complete.

Don't expect to see it before 2020 though. In a series of tweets, Hissrich said: "Quality comes before speed."

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