The Rock Addressed The Henry Cavill Superman Fiasco On The Oscars Red Carpet

The Rock had a plan. He wanted his DC film Black Adam to launch a new corner of the DCU, one that eventually would lead to a battle between his God-like warrior and Henry Cavill’s Superman. To accomplish this, Dwayne Johnson and his team at Seven Bucks Productions worked hard to get Cavill into Black Adam in a post-credits sequence. Only, plans changed. James Gunn and Peter Safran took over for the previous DC regime at Warner Bros., and then decided that he wanted to recast Superman for the upcoming DC film Superman: Legacy. That left Cavill out in the cold, and The Rock was asked about it on the champagne carpet at the Academy Awards on Sunday. Here is what he had to say:

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As Dwayne Johnson says when asked by Variety (via Brandon Davis at ComicBook) about what happened with Henry Cavill, the only thing that he and his team were able to control was Black Adam, making the best movie possible, and hopefully setting up a storyline that fans wanted to follow. The Rock claims that their Audience Score was in the nineties – it is 88% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes – but he admits that critics took plenty of shots at the movie, so they weren’t able to continue. 

The bigger problem is that the old regime at Warner Bros. allowed Henry Cavill to actually record a video and state to the fans that he officially was back as Superman, and that he was so excited to continue telling stories as DC’s primary hero. It was uplifting, for Cavill and for his fans. Until it wasn’t.

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But The Rock didn’t stop there. Without actually calling out James Gunn, he called out James Gunn, but couched his criticism in a sports analogy that makes sense, even if it’s sad for those who enjoyed Black Adam. The way that he described it, a new owner took over their team. And even though the existing coach and quarterback had experienced success (though Rock is exaggerating the level of success), the new “owners” – Gunn and Safran – wanted to go with their picks for Superman. 

We won’t know who Henry Cavill’s replacement is going to be for quite some time. James Gunn won’t even confirm that he is directing Superman: Legacy, and we all know how important the casting on that feature is going to be. Partly because this new Superman is going to be a cornerstone of the DC Universe moving forward. But also, sadly, because the new actor is going to be compared to Cavill until he is given the chance to put his own stamp on the character. DC fans aren’t always kind, so we will see how that goes. 

And kudos to The Rock for taking that tough question on, handling it with grace, and allowing DC Films to move on.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.