UPDATE 2: Warner Bros. releases a statement about reports Henry Cavill is out as Superman.
Henry Cavill is reportedly out as Warner Bros. and DC Film's Superman amid shakeups of the DC movie universe. Cavill first donned the red and blue suit for Zack Snyder's Man of Steel in 2013. Then, he returned to share the screen with Ben Affleck's Dark Knight in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice in 2016. Although Cavill's Superman was defeated at the end of the film by Lex Luthor's (Jesse Eisenberg) Doomsday creature, it was clear he'd return in the Justice League team-up movie. However, Justice League didn't turn out like many expected due to a director change. Snyder stepped away from the project after principal photography, and Joss Whedon directed the Justice League reshoots.
One of the bigger talking points surrounding the reshoots were Cavill's mustache, which he had grown for his role in Mission: Impossible - Fallout and wasn't able to shave for additional photography on Justice League. As a result, it's easy to determine how much of Whedon's Superman reshoots were used in Justice League because Cavill's upper lip was CGI-ed to remove the mustache. Still, though Justice League may not have been the continuation of Superman's storyline that Snyder envisioned for the character way back in Man of Steel, Cavill's portrayal has become integral to the unofficially titled DC Extended Universe. But now, it seems he'll be departing the movie universe.
As reported by THR, Cavill is set to leave Warner Bros' comic book franchise after talks broke down for further appearances. Reportedly, Cavill would have made a cameo as Superman in Shazam!, but wasn't able to due to scheduling conflicts. Discussions about further appearances are breaking down, resulting in the actor walking away from the DC movie universe. Further, the studio isn't planning to do another Superman movie for some years, at which point Warner Bros. will look at new actors for the role. According to one of THR's sources, "Superman is like James Bond, and after a certain run you have to look at new actors."
According to THR, Cavill's departure also comes as a result of the studio shifting its focus to its solo Supergirl movie, which will feature a teen heroine; this causes mythology problems as the actor's character, Supergirl's cousin Kal-El, would need to be a baby at the time. Between the fact that Warner Bros. won't make a Superman movie for some time, and they're focusing more on Supergirl, Cavill exiting the franchise makes the most sense. It frees up his schedule for other projects, like the upcoming Netflix adaptation of The Witcher - which, according to THR, Cavill signed on for after reaching the contract impasse with Warner Bros. The Netflix show is not the cause of his Superman exit.
Considering Cavill was one of the more widely praised aspects of the DC franchise - despite some taking issue with Snyder's Superman story arc - fans will likely be disappointed to see him go. Though the actor's upper lip became somewhat of a joke due to the Justice League reshoots, his portrayal of Superman has become a favorite of some movie fans. Further, Man of Steel was one of the better received entries in the DCEU and many have campaigned for a Man of Steel 2 for some time. However, now it appears Cavill won't be returning for a sequel.
All that said, this isn't official word from Warner Bros. or Cavill about the actor's status as the Big Blue Boy Scout. It's possible contract talks may resume, but that seems unlikely. Since Cavill is signing on to other projects and Warner Bros. is shifting its focus to other movies and DC characters, it looks as though all parties involved are moving on.
- 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