Find all previous editions of the PCG Q&A here (opens in new tab). Here are some highlights:
- What were the best and worst parts of the Cyberpunk 2077 demo? (opens in new tab)
- Which game would you cross with your favorite TV show or film? (opens in new tab)
- Which game did you finish despite hating every minute of it? (opens in new tab)
News came earlier this week that Superman actor Henry Cavill has been cast as Geralt in Netflix's adaptation of the Witcher books. Some applauded the decision, others questioned whether Cavill has what it takes for the role, and we mocked up Big Cavill (opens in new tab) for a preview of the show's special effects.
It's going to be difficult to make anyone look like the Geralt we know from the games, what with his superhuman hairline and pristine tub soaking form, but he doesn't have to look identical, and surely won't—taking from the books means there's freedom to imagine a new face for The Witcher. Opinions vary on how he should be played, as well. Stoic? Cold? Shiny and wet?
All that in mind, who would you choose to portray Geralt in a live action show? We've dropped our ideas below, and let us know your favored thespians in the comments. (Unfortunately, Andy Kelly has already chosen the one and only correct answer, but the rest of us at least get to participate.)
As probably the only member of our team who's watched every episode of the underrated pirate drama Black Sails, I have to go to bat for Zach McGowan, who played the show's nasty captain Charles Vane. He's ripped, he has the beard and long hair, and speaks in a growly whisper that would suit Geralt well. And from what I saw on Black Sails, he's a good actor; he probably wouldn't make for an incredible Geralt, but I think he'd make for a competent one, able to smirk and drop deadpan jokes in between all the monster slaying. McGowan was actually lobbying for the role (opens in new tab), so I wonder if he ended up getting an audition for the part. If so, it couldn't have involved pull-ups, cause the dude would've crushed it (opens in new tab). —Wes Fenlon
That guy from Game of Thrones
How about that guy, you know, that guy, whose name I'll try to remember without looking it up first because I'll get it amusingly wrong. Nicholas Walder-Cousteau. Cousteau-Walder Frey. Walter Nicholas-Cousteau? Something with a Nicholas and a Cousteau and a Walder or Walter.
I was a little close. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. From Game of Thrones and presumably other things. He seems good, he's charismatic, he can swing a sword, he can do the kinda grizzled thing but also cleans up nice, he has an accent that can probably pass as something from a fantasy world. What else does Geralt do besides sit in a tub? Cast spells? He can cast spells, probably. Sorry, I haven't played The Witcher games. I vote for Cousteau Walder-Nicholas. —Chris Livingston
He's in the right age bracket, he's good at violence, and he's a chameleon, the kind of guy who basically just disappears into a role. Give him the scars, the stubble (or beard, as it may be), the hair, and the eyes, and all we'd see is Geralt. You probably wouldn't even need to dub in Doug Cockle's voice—just get Karl to harden his Dredd voice a little and you're all set. —Andy Chalk
Actually, Wes, I also watched every episode of the underrated pirate drama Black Sails. But I want to nominate a different member of its cast: Toby Stephens, who played Captain Flint, the second-most gravelly voiced pirate on the show. He does a good "everything has gone wrong but I'm not giving up" stare that would be perfect for Geralt.
So either him or Cate Blanchett, because since I saw her play a better Bob Dylan than any of the dudes in I'm Not There, I'm convinced she can do anything. —Jody Macgregor
Mads Mikkelsen(opens in new tab)
Come on, he's perfect. He has the wiry, muscular frame, the piercing eyes, the severe face. Just imagine him in a suit of Kaer Morhen armour and a mane of flowing grey hair. Mads can play stoic and intense brilliantly, ideal for the early episodes, but has the range to develop Geralt into a more interesting, nuanced character as the season goes on. He also has a peculiar, slightly otherworldly way about him, and I think that would be perfect for Geralt—the weird, pale outsider that villagers whisper cruelly about as he rides through town. Cavill is too handsome, man. I think Geralt's gotta be a little odd. A bit unsettling. —Andy Kelly