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The Future of Henry Cavill’s Superman—Gone But Never Forgotten

henry cavill as superman in the Snyderverse superman films

There is no denying that actor Henry Cavill got dealt a poor hand when he stepped into the blue jumpsuit to play Superman back in Man of Steel. Yet, despite hype to the contrary, it does not appear that Cavill will be getting that chance so many fans wanted for him.

Will Henry Cavill’s Superman return for Man of Steel 2?

Sadly, it appears that any hopes for a Man of Steel 2 are dashed. In a post confirmed by co-head of the DCEU project, James Gunn, they are going to be working on a vision of Superman/Clark Kent that takes place when he is younger. “Among those on the slate is Superman. In the initial stages, our story will be focusing on an earlier part of Superman’s life,” he said on Twitter. “So the character will not be played by Henry Cavill.”

It will not be an origin story.

Gunn did say that they “just had a great meeting with Henry and we’re big fans and we talked about a number of exciting possibilities to work together in the future.”

Cavill posted on his own Instagram, sharing the disappointment about the news. “It’s sad news, everyone. I will, after all, not be returning as Superman. After being told by the studio to announce my return back in October, prior to their hire, this news isn’t the easiest, but that’s life,” Cavill said. “I respect that James and Peter have a universe to build. I wish them and all involved with the new universe the best of luck, and the happiest of fortunes.”

Why not bring Cavill back?

While people have rooted for Cavill, his films did not meet all expectations, but the actor himself has always had the potential to bring charm into the role, despite the writing not helping. Many, including myself, have always thought that in a better movie (that wasn’t Batman co-focused), he could be an excellent Man of Steel, and now he might be getting that chance.

The Hollywood Reporter has shared an article saying that DC is at a crossroads with the upcoming Black Adam movie. There was a lot of discussion about what the future of the Warner Bros. DC collaborative universe looks like, especially since it sounds like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will be using his own star power to make things happen. Now, The Rock has long been spoiling his own movie and talking about bringing Henry Cavill back into the fold. This quote from THR says a lot:

“Johnson, however, has Superman plans of his own, and has been very vocal about his desire to make a Black Adam versus Superman movie, a desire he has only reiterated more frequently in the lead up to Adam. This comes as he talks up his “surprise” cameo at the end of Adam, with the actor all but stating that Cavill will appear. Insiders are wondering if those calls are intended to goose the movie’s opening weekend box office numbers or to maneuver Superman onto his own chess square, or perhaps both.

Whatever the case, Johnson is definitely at the center of Cavill’s return to DC, which was not without some drama of its own. Johnson’s manager is Dany Garcia, his former wife who is also his producing partner at Seven Bucks Entertainment. Garcia also happens to represent Cavill.”

black adam is a rock showcase
(DC/WB)

THR goes on to say that when denied a Black Adam Superman appearance by the controversial Walter Hamada, Johnson was able to go over his head and get stuff done. “After Hamada said no, Johnson went around the executive, turning to De Luca and Abdy, who gave it the thumbs up. A furious round of negotiating occurred before Labor Day, a deadline insisted by Warners, with the scene shot in mid-September.”

Hamada has become a controversial figure due to being named by Ray Fisher as one of the people who did nothing to stop Joss Whedon’s problematic behavior in Justice League. And to be quite frank, while the DCEU has been getting some really good movies out, due to Covid and other issues, other than The Batman and Joker, it has not translated into box office gold. Plus, the Warner Bros. Discovery merger and all the issues that have come with it have shaken the confidence of many fans.

Previously, according to THR, it was said that developments had already begun on a Man of Steel sequel, though it’s still in the early stages, and the studio had its sights set on Cavill returning to the role.

With Marvel fatigue at its highest, it would have been the perfect time for DC to figure out a new way to be, especially since it has a huge roster of impressive characters. As Johnson said in a profile yesterday, “It’s the safer bet to continue to invest in the I.P. that the world knows. The Justice League — Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Aquaman. I understand that. But it took convincing to get the studio to look past the Justice League into the DC universe, and there are some really cool characters there. You’ve just got to give it a shot and trust the investment.”

Agreed. Man of Steel 2 would have been an excellent way to introduce Supergirl into the DCEU and allow Superman to be more than just a hero but to be a father figure, which has been working really well on The CW. In Man of Steel, we saw that Cavill’s Clark Kent really felt isolated, and giving him a cousin who can understand him would be an excellent way to (one) deal and play with that character, especially with his guilt over killing Zodd, and (two) allow Supergirl to return to the big screen in a new way, since we haven’t had a Supergirl in a live-action movie since the ’70s. There are multiple successful templates for the DCEU to take with Superman. Literally, just pick one.

(via THR, featured image: DC/WB)

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Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.