Barely three weeks after announcing that he was “back as Superman“, Henry Cavill was forced to reveal that he will not play the character in the future after all.
Instead, the Man of Steel will be rebooted in a new film written by DC Studios co-head James Gunn, starring the iconic superhero as a young man.
Gunn announced on Twitter that he and his producing partner Peter Safran will announce the first projects of their new slate of DC productions in early 2023. “Among those on the slate is Superman. In the early stages, our story will focus on an earlier part of Superman’s life, so the character won’t be played by Henry Cavill,” Gunn said.
Among those on the slate is Superman. In the early stages, our story will focus on an earlier part of Superman’s life, so the character won’t be played by Henry Cavill.
—James Gunn (@JamesGunn) December 15, 2022
Cavill published an article about this sudden turn in his fortunes on Instagram. “This is sad news, everyone. After all, I’m not coming back as Superman,” he said before doing a light dig at the chaotic decision making at Warner Bros. in recent months as it works through its merger with Discovery and relaunches DC movies and TV under Gunn and Safran. “After being invited by the studio to announce my return in October, before [Gunn and Safran’s] hiring, this news isn’t the easiest, but that’s life,” Cavill wrote.
“The changing of the guard is something that happens. I respect that. James and Peter have a universe to build. I wish them and everyone involved in the new universe the best of luck and the happiest of fortunes.
Cavill had posted about his return to the role after black adam star Dwayne Johnson had managed to persuade Warner Bros. executives. to let Cavill appear in a post-credits scene for his movie. Cavill is also said to be shooting an appearance for next year the flashbut it’s unclear if it’s used in the movie now.
It was also recently announced that Cavill will no longer star in Netflix’s hit TV adaptation of the witcher; he will be replaced by Liam Hemsworth. In this case, the decision seemed to rest with Cavill. Some have speculated that he set aside Geralt de Riv to reprise the role of Clark Kent, while others guessed a difference of opinion with showrunner Lauren Hissrich.
Gunn said that there might still be room for Cavill in future DC Studios projects, though he didn’t say if it would be a different character or an alternate version of Superman (similar the joint return of Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck as Batman in the flash). “We just had a great meeting with Henry and we’re huge fans and talked about a number of exciting possibilities to work together in the future,” Gunn said.
Gunn also said that he and Safran had met Affleck with a view to the former Bruce Wayne taking the reins of a DC project. “I met Ben yesterday precisely because he wants to direct and we want him to direct; we just have to find the right project,” Gunn tweeted.
But he gave no indication of the status of the other Superman project in development at Warner Bros. : a film about a black Superman written by Ta-Nehisi Coates and produced by JJ Abrams. According to the Hollywood Reporterthis project is not impacted by Gunn’s new film and Coates is still working on the script.
Ahead of breaking the Superman news, Gunn took to Twitter on Wednesday to deny a report that director Matt Reeves and star Robert Pattinson’s version of Batman would be integrated into the larger DC Universe. “It’s totally false” he said.
It’s been a hectic few months for DC productions as the new CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery’s David Zaslav eliminated projects and installed Gunn and Safran with a mandate to consolidate and reboot DC movies and TV. A so-called complete The Batgirl movie has been shelvedand most recently a third Wonder Woman film from director Patty Jenkins and star Gal Gadot. has been cancelled.