The future of the Superman film series has been shrouded in uncertainty for a long time. Although the release of Zack Snyder’s Justice League to both HBO Max subscribers and home media enthusiasts provided the opportunity to see Henry Cavill’s original scenes as Superman in this superhero team-up tale, the fact of the matter is that it’s been roughly half a decade since he last performed the Man of Steel. So will he be back as Superman or not? Well, a new report has come out revealing that Warner Bros. Pictures will need to figure that out pretty soon.
Warner Bros. has been going through some major restructuring in the wake of its merger with Discovery, which includes Toby Emmerich, the studio’s Motion Picture Group Chair, being replaced by the team of Michael De Luca and Pamela Abdy. On the DC Films side of things, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav is looking for someone to essentially fill the same kind of “guru” role that Kevin Feige is for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Whoever this person ends up being, among the challenges they’ll face is figuring out what to do with Superman, as Variety notes that Henry Cavill is “aging out of the role,” but at the same time, WB still hasn’t finalized plans for the Superman reboot being written by Ta-Nehisi Coates and produced by J.J. Abrams.
This uncertainty surrounding Superman’s film future is a far cry from the days when Henry Cavill’s version of the character was launching the DCEU with Man of Steel. That ended up being Cavill’s only solo movie in this franchise, as he shared lead duties with Ben Affleck in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and then was part of Justice League’s ensemble. While Cavill has expressed interest in making Man of Steel 2, this is one of those DC movies that has simply languished in development hell. With WB now reportedly thinking that Cavill is close to getting too old to keep playing Superman, the studio needs to decide soon if they want to keep him as the Kryptonian hero or recast the role.
Assuming Warner Bros. is interested in having Henry Cavill star in Man of Steel 2, or perhaps pop up in other DC movies like what was rumored a few years back, there’s still a big obstacle to overcome: the actor’s schedule. Nowadays, Cavill is keeping busy playing Gerald of Rivia in The Witcher and starring in movies like Argylle and Enola Holmes (and its sequel), so it would be a lot harder to carve out time for him to put the cape back on compared to when he was first cast as the DCEU’s Superman. Still, you don’t have to look hard to find fans who are still game for Cavill’s Superman to return, especially if he’s leading his own movie again.
On the other side of the coin, there’s the reboot route, which stands the best chance of happening through Ta-Nehsisi Coates’ Superman. As evidenced with Joker and The Batman, there clearly isn’t any issue with releasing DC movies that don’t take place in the DCEU, so if things don’t work out with Henry Cavill, it’d be easy enough to once again start with a clean Superman slate. Even then, we’ve seen how Michael Keaton is taking over as the DCEU’s new Batman following The Flash, while at the same time, Robert Pattinson’s Batman is set to embark on another adventure in his own universe. So even if Coates’ Superman movie set in another corner of the DC multiverse moves forward, ideally nothing would prevent Cavill from possibly reprising his Superman in a supporting capacity in the DCEU.
Whatever the final decision is, evidently Warner Bros. will need to reach it sooner rather than later, and once that creative direction is announced to the public, CinemaBlend will share it. For now, there are other kinds of upcoming DC movies to keep track of in the nearer future.
Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.
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