Zack Snyder fans expected Justice League to reveal the "true" Superman ... and Henry Cavill was one of them. Unfortunately for fans of Man of Steel and Batman v Superman, the director never got to complete his trilogy. And with new rumors suggesting Snyder's departure was WB's decision, and not entirely his own, Snyder;s vision for his final Superman chapter seems doomed to remain a mystery. Which, for his most vocal critics (or those rumored to have changed Justice League from what he intended) is absolutely a change for the better.
But for fans of the hero, or specifically Snyder's new take, it seems the opinion of Henry Cavill on the issue should carry some extra weight. After all, nobody knows what story Zack Snyder intended to tell with Justice League than the star himself. It turns out that the version of Superman that Snyder originally created for Justice League was, in Cavill's opinion, the one fans had been waiting for.
Henry Cavill plays a surprisingly small role in the behind-the-scenes bonus features of the digital release, considering the role he plays - or unsurprisingly, given the controversy surrounding him (his face, specifically). Either way, he's on hand in one interview to praise the injection of hope, joy, and conclusion of Superman's arc in Justice League.
An interview in which he is clean shaven, and placed between a good chunk of new on-set footage, horsing around with his costars equally beardless. We'll get to the importance of those details soon, but first, here's how Cavill views/viewed the three-part story of Zack Snyder's Superman set to be finished in League:
"In my opinion this is the first time we see Superman in truth. We have seen the origin story of Superman. We have seen the downfall and doubt of Superman. And finally with this rebirth, we see the true Superman. The Superman who is confident and sure, and full of hope and joy."
His description of Man of Steel and Batman v Superman as steps on the road to the creation of the DCEU's "true" Superman makes sense - we even made the same argument before Justice League released. And for some, Justice League delivers exactly that... even after Superman's actual "return" wound up in deleted scenes. And just as Snyder was criticized by some for "ruining Superman," those who see his redemption in Justice League are just as likely to give credit to Joss Whedon and Geoff Johns for "rescuing" Supes. Snyder had nothing but praise for Johns, as well. But how do we know that it's specifically Snyder's version of the movie Cavill is discussing?
Again, the culprit is Cavill's inescapable mustache. The mustache that posed a problem for reshoots when he refused to shave it (along with Paramount). And the mustache whose CG shadow revealed that almost all of Cavill's Justice League performance was reshot or removed. The mustache that Cavill sported through the entire Justice League press tour, and wears to this day. Which means if you've got footage of Henry Cavill discussing Justice League or filming scenes clean shaven (and in the original Superman suit), it could only have been captured before the production underwent its sizable shift in direction.
Given what else has been released along with the digital version of Justice League, Cavill's description is easy to grasp. Aside from the black Superman suit that would have thrilled fans, the larger deleted scene made good on Man of Steel. Clark left the Kryptonian ship the first time unsure of his mission. In Justice League, his iconic suit is an established role and identity - one he embraces, having reunited with Lois (part of the "joy" Cavill likely refers to). All of which explains why Cavill calls his return not a "resurrection" of the Superman that was, but as "a rebirth" into the true idea of Superman.
All the evidence means these comments were directed at the story that he and Zack Snyder had actually committed to film - which may seem obvious to fans of the series, but hard to believe for his loudest critics (who may dismiss Cavill's comments as typical PR speak). The truth may never be known.
The worse part? If the long-discussed Snyder cut of Justice League is never released, the payoff of the "true" Superman's arrival will never get to be appreciated, or even discussed, either.
Source: Warner Bros.