The direction of the DC Universe is shifting. After numerous attempts at silver screen success, Superman and Batman appear to be giving way to Wonder Woman, Harley Quinn and Batgirl. Buried in the story that DC and Warner Bros. are postponing The Flash with Ezra Miller, it is stated that the studio will NOT move forward with Batman or Superman movies starring Ben Affleck or Henry Cavill, respectively.
Is that the end of an era? The current DCEU, as positioned as a rival to the efforts of Marvel Studios, trace back to Zack Snyder's Man of Steel, which cast Henry Cavill as the new son of Krypton, and the centerpiece of the DC Cinematic Universe.
It only took one movie, though, for DC and Warner Bros. to cram both Batman (Ben Affleck) and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) into the convoluted Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. And by the end of that movie, Superman had been killed off.
Variety doesn't cite any additional details when it says that Warner Bros. is choosing not to move ahead with either Henry Cavill or Ben Affleck, though they do take the next step to say that the role of the Caped Crusader will fall to a new actor when the character returns to the big screen, assumedly in Matt Reeves' planned reboot of the Bat franchise.
This does further the narrative from a few weeks back that DC was moving on from Henry Cavill following his work in Justice League in 2017. Even though Cavill's reps countered that rumor (and really, they had to do that), the math simply doesn't add up. There's no Superman script in development at the moment, and no announced release date for a Superman movie in the near future. Plans now swirl around a Supergirl movie, while rumors of Cavill making a cameo in Shazam! were shot down.
Ben Affleck, meanwhile, has been off the radar dealing with personal issues, and doesn't appear ready to step into the cape and cowl of Batman any time soon. Matt Reeves has already expressed a desire for a younger Batman, one who could hold down a possible trilogy. Makes sense to us.
There are six titles on DC's radar that will be making their way to theaters soon, and none of them involve Batman or Superman. Jason Momoa's Aquaman surfaces in December. Shazam! is on deck next, followed by Gal Gadot's triumphant return for Wonder Woman 1984.
As for movies that are just starting to take shape, we know of a Joker origin story with Joaquin Phoenix, and DC just ramped up casting on its Birds of Prey film. Add the delayed The Flash movie to the mix, and you have a number of tangible features that can entertain audiences before Batman and Superman need to come back to theaters.
So, is this the end for Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck? And if it is, is that the right move for DC? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
Managing Director at CinemaBlend. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.
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