DC fans who reacted to the news of Henry Cavill's departure from the role of Superman this morning were joined by Zack Snyder, who used a storyboard for a deleted scene from his Justice League in a touching tribute. Cavill rose to fame playing the lead in 2013's Snyder-directed Man of Steel. He reprised the role in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League, although Snyder left part-way through the latter.
While Justice League was widely considered a box office disappointment, Warner Bros. has continued with the DCEU, with Aquaman scheduled for release in December, and Wonder Woman 1984 and Shazam! set for sometime in 2019. Since Cavill shared his thoughts on the unofficial Man of Steel 2, it was revealed that he was unavailable for the planned Superman cameo in Shazam! Today seems to have confirmed that contract negotiations with the actor have fallen through. While the news brings disappointment, Snyder appears to have responded optimistically.
Snyder posted what a storyboard image of Clark Kent/Superman from his version of Justice League. The scene represents the man who will become arguably the most indomitable hero in the world elated at the discovery of his Kryptonian lineage, full range of powers, and life's purpose. Check out the images below:
The caption seen here is open to interpretation. From Man of Steel, it references the scene in which Superman surrenders to the U.S. government, and agrees to be handed over to the eminently invading General Zod. In a prison compound where Lois Lane asks him about the symbol on his chest it, he replies: "It's not an S. On my world, it means hope." Snyder may be acknowledging the end of his Superman creative vision, while acknowledging that the character and his ideals represent a feeling, and not a monotheistic interpretation.
Cavill has yet to comment on leaving the role, and Warner Bros. issued a statement saying they haven't officially parted ways with the actor. Considering his rise to fame, negotiations falling through with Cavill is not surprising. Similar to Chris Pine's break out through Star Trek, Cavill undoubtedly became more expensive, since taking on high profile projects like The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Mission: Impossible - Fallout, and most recently The Witcher. While Snyder has stayed aboard some of the in-development DCEU films as a producer, whether or not Warner Bros. was set to green light another Superman or Justice League sequel with both him and Cavill was never been confirmed.
Cavill certainly brought a Superman that audiences hadn't seen before, by starkly contrasting the cheerful, boy scout versions played by actors like Christopher Reeve (Superman: The Movie) and Dean Cain (Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman). But like Batman, Superman has gone through so many different incarnations across decades, that moving focus to other characters has some appeal. Warner Bros. is reportedly shifting focus to their Supergirl movie, since Kara Zor-El has already won the hearts of viewers in the Arrowverse. The arrival of Robin in Titans and Batwoman also has potential to tell seldom heard stories. While many fans justifiably want more of what Snyder and Cavill had to offer, hope for more great DC movies lies ahead.
Source: Zack Snyder/Vero