[Update: DC and Warner Bros. have officially announced a Cyborg movie for 2020]
Well, it seems Warner Bros. and DC Comics have decided to shift from relative silence to some serious movie-making, if the buzz surrounding Batman vs. Superman and the Man of Steel Blu-ray release are any indication. And with the release of Zack Snyder's first brick in the foundations of DC's universe into homes everywhere, more signs of what's to come are appearing.
It seems that of all the hints and dangling story threads left by Man of Steel, star Henry Cavill sees particular promise in Cyborg - a character that could not only add to the shared universe, but act as the star player in the long-demanded Justice League movie.
Cavill's comments aren't as shocking as, say, confirmation that Flash and Wonder Woman will make cameos in Batman vs. Superman. But for DC fans up to date on the company's fiction, the writing is on the wall. The comments come from a brief clip of the Man of Steel Blu-ray's behind-the-scenes content, with Cavill specifically asked which easter eggs from the film are his personal favorites:
"On the extras on the Blu-ray, we're going to get the opportunity to see Zack's references to other aspects of the DC Universe. There's one obvious one which is now particularly obvious because of our next installment, which is involving Batman as well. We see Bruce Wayne Enterprises on the satellite in space. We also see some references to LexCorp. I actually have no further knowledge of this next story, but there's a good chance Lex is going to be introduced soon or at some stage.
The Wayne Enterprises satellite Cavill refers to was actually revealed before the movie even hit theaters, and for reasons clear to everyone, no longer needs to be investigated - with Batman set to make his appearance in Snyder's universe soon enough. Speculation over Lex Luthor's presence in Batman vs. Superman is still completely unconfirmed, so fans, like Cavill, will have to wait and see.
But in a film filled to the brim with easter eggs for comic book fans, which one is Cavill's personal favorite? The answer will certainly surprise, and could spell big things for the future of DC's movie universe:
"What really intrigued me was Dr. Emil Hamilton's connection to S.T.A.R. Labs. Cyborg I think would make a wonderful character and an incredible bridge between both superhumans and humanity in a different way to Batman. So I don't know where he's going to come in or if he's going to come in, but that's one I'm particularly excited about. Other references I'm not too sure on, but we'll see where those lead. Those with keen eyes will see them."
It should be immediately pointed out that Cavill makes his ignorance of Zack Snyder and recently-crowned-DC-architect David S. Goyer's plans for WB's next superhero movie quite plain. So this namedrop shouldn't be taken as a confirmation that Cyborg casting is underway.
That being said, Cavill has been right in the past, so we can attribute his knack for predicting Snyder's intentions to telepathy, or having a sense of where the director is heading. We know Cavill's dove headlong into comic books as research for Big Blue, so the fact that he singled out Cyborg in relation to S.T.A.R. Labs - a catch-all covert group tied to just about everything else in the DC Universe - could be a sign of some back-and-forth with Snyder, at least in passing.
For those unfamiliar, the actor is spot-on with his estimation that the character of Victor Stone a.k.a. 'Cyborg' would bridge the gap between human and superhuman in a new way, and on that would fit quite well within WB's grounded approach.
The character has been a staple of both the Teen Titans and Justice League teams for decades, but as we've pointed out before, his new origin story concocted for DC's 'New 52' company-wide relaunch sends a clear message that DC is modernizing even their most iconic heroes. Now a high school football star, Vic falls victim to a horrific accident while visiting his father, a scientist at S.T.A.R. Labs (a location, Cavill points out, has already been established on screen).
With his body mutilated and death imminent, Vic's father saves his life through radical means: injecting him with nanites, and fitting his broken body with metallic components and just about every piece of experimental technology on hand. The result is Cyborg, a tortured, confused young man terrified beyond belief.
That's a story that's already straying from much of both Marvel and DC's existing cast, but Cyborg wasn't re-imagined as part of the New 52 for his own standalone series. Instead, DC's Chief Creative Officer (and gatekeeper of all things DC entertainment) Geoff Johns crafted a new origin story for Cyborg as part of the Justice League re-launch. Cyborg didn't just join the superhero team, but helped it form; in other words, helped kick off a story we've continuously pointed to as essentially a paint-by-numbers script treatment for the inevitable Justice League motion picture.
The biggest hurdle facing DC and Warner Bros. has always been pairing the grounded, realistic tone of their films with the more outlandish - and beloved - aspects of the comic book's mythology. Man of Steel dealt with that challenge better than many predicted, but Cyborg's introduction would help bridge the gap even more. Thanks to one particular alien item grafted into his new body: a 'Father Box' from Apokolips, the home of Darkseid.
In the comics, Earth soon falls under attack from the most villainous of DC's New Gods, forcing the various superheroes to join forces, and discover their strengths (and weaknesses) as a team. Cyborg's Apokoliptian tech helps them take the fight to Darkseid, making the most vulnerable and broken member the most important, and establishing DC's 'cosmic' side.
So while Warner Bros. execs and scriptwriters may struggle to introduce the world's most famous super-team to modern audiences, Geoff Johns essentially already has. And if Cavill is basing his assumption that Cyborg could be a character to get excited for on anything more than his imagination, WB may have taken note. It's still too early to know what Snyder and Goyer have in mind, but if there's smoke surrounding this character, then the fire may already be sitting on comic book store shelves.
What do you make of Cavill's comments? Does it seem like Warner Bros. may have finally decided to follow DC's roadmap, or would you prefer to see Cyborg given the spotlight in one of the studio's lower-budget superhero films? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Batman vs. Superman hitstheaters on July 17, 2015.
Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.
Source: Warner Bros