Henry Cavill may be the latest casualty of Warner Bros.’ continued reshuffling of its DC properties, as sources tell THR that the current face of Superman is on his way out as the iconic superhero.
The decision reportedly comes after talks broke down with Cavill over making a cameo in next year’s Shazam!, and now it seems Warner Bros. is ready to push him out of the DC universe altogether.
Warner Bros. is instead shifting its focus to their Supergirl origin story, set at a point in the DC mythology during which Cavill’s character would be an infant. The studio is also likely to pause making a solo Superman film for at least several years. “Superman is like James Bond, and after a certain run you have to look at new actors,” said a THR studio source. Ben Affleck’s fate as Batman in the DC Extended Universe is also up in the air, as it seems unlikely that he’ll reprise his role in the forthcoming stand-alone Batman film The Batman, which replaced him as director with Matt Reeves and will no longer be using Affleck’s script.
Not all of the current lineup of the DC universe is being overhauled, though: Jason Momoa reprises his Justice League role in the stand-alone, James Wan-directed Aquaman, due out in December; Ezra Miller is still set to shoot a Flash movie in early 2019; and Gal Gadot and director Patty Jenkins are set to follow up Wonder Woman, the franchise’s only bonafide hit to date, with Wonder Woman 1984, still set for Nov. 1, 2019.
It remains unclear where the news of Cavill’s casting in Netflix’s forthcoming The Witcher series adaptation falls on the timeline of the studio’s decision, but perhaps this contributed to the scheduling conflicts that led to Cavill dropping out of Shazam!.
What is clear, though, is that Warner Bros. doesn’t have a clear strategy on how to create or brand a cohesive DC Extended Universe (which is apparently now being called ‘The Worlds of DC’?). Cavill wasn’t a memorable, or even a particularly heroic, iteration of Superman, but he deserves a more graceful exit than a CGI-erased mustache and a lousy team-up for a version of the team that doesn’t even exist anymore in Justice League. There’s no clear solution to DC’s troubles, but if they’re trying to reboot the franchise, they might as well go all the way.
One such potential measure: Deadline reports that the studio is “even considering casting Michael B. Jordan in the role [of Superman] down the road.”
Read Michael Burgin’s take on how to rebuild the DC Cinematic Universe here.