Cavill's Superman Exit May Just Be Man of Steel 2 Contract Negotiation

Recent reports indicate Henry Cavill's time as Superman in the DC Extended Universe could be over, but is this just more negotiation tactics playing out in the media? After making his debut as Superman in 2013's Man of Steel, Cavill essentially kickstarted the DCEU. While he wasn't well known at the time, his profile has only grown in recent years for roles in films like the cult favorite Man From U.N.C.L.E.and more recently, his intense performance in Mission: Impossible - Fallout.

The news came fast and furious, starting with a report that talks had broken down and the studio and actor were moving in different directions, but things quickly got confused when Cavill's agent publicly responded, resulting in an official Warner Bros statement, before Henry Cavill capped off the day with an odd video to his Instagram. Needless to say, it was a bizarre day of news, leaving many people more confused than ever over Cavill's future in the role.

Related: Why Henry Cavill Has Reportedly Quit Playing The DCEU's Superman

While things certainly look doubtful, Cavill and his agent's persistence suggests it's not completely over yet, and the crazy day of news could merely be a dramatic example of contract negotiations spilling into the public sphere.

Henry Cavill (Technically) Isn't Done Yet

Henry Cavill Superman Man of Steel

Henry Cavill's contract isn't actually up yet - he still has one movie left. Just how that plays into this whole situation isn't clear yet, but its possible disagreement over the extension could preclude him from even appearing in that last film. In fact, it's negotiations over that final appearance that landed Cavill and Warner Bros. in this stalemate in the first place.

WB wanted the actor to appear in a short cameo in Shazam!, but that would have used his last contracted appearance, meaning a new contract would be necessary for Man of Steel 2 or any other appearance. Cavill loves playing the character and would like to continue, but thinks his rising star power and tenure in the role have earned him a higher payday. His time with Tom Cruise during Mission: Impossible - Fallout may have also played a factor because he's also taking a play from Cruise's book by asking for more creative control of his movies (a wise move considering Justice League's mustache removal in reshoots turned him into a meme).

Warner Bros. Doesn't Want To Meet Cavill's Demands

Unfortunately, while Cavill's star may be on the rise elsewhere, his three appearances as Superman haven't inspired much confidence in Warner Bros.. Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice both turned a profit, but the studio was hoping for bigger numbers, and the polarized audience reaction doesn't help. Justice League didn't even use Superman in marketing, and his presence in the film was bland and riddled by obvious reshoots, including the CGI mustache removal, but as the worst performer in the franchise, it probably also plays a role in their decisionmaking, even though none of that was Cavill's fault.

Related: What Cavill's DCEU Departure Means For Solo Superman Movies

Fortunately for Cavill, the strong reception to Mission: Impossible - Fallout gives him a little more bargaining power. Also helping his case, the news that he was no longer in the role spawned an outpouring of support on social media, resulting in both "Henry Cavill" and "Superman" trending on Twitter. If Warners were concerned about his bankability, the actor will surely use that fact as leverage in any future conversations.

Page 2 of 2: The Story Has Played Out Like Negotiation Theatrics

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Key Release Dates
  • Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
  • Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
  • Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020
  • Joker (2019) release date: Oct 04, 2019
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