The DC cinematic universe might have just gone through the death and rebirth of Superman, but an explosive new report suggests that it could be losing its Man of Steel for good.
The Hollywood Reporter, citing sources close to Warner Bros., is reporting that after talks for a potential, long-rumoured cameo in Shazam! collapsed due to scheduling issues, Henry Cavill will be hanging up his red cape as the studio quietly shifts focus away from Superman’s central place in its sprawling universe of DC Comics movies.
The report suggests the reason behind Cavill’s — who was just cast in the lead role for Netflix’s major new fantasy series, an adaptation of the beloved Witcher novels — exit from the role is because of the studio’s decision to pivot towards introducing Kal-El’s cousin Supergirl into the movie universe.
Citing the fact that part of Supergirl’s origin in the comics was that she was sent to guide her younger infant cousin on Earth after Krypton’s destruction (and ignoring that she was waylaid thanks to an accident along the way, meaning she arrived after Kal had become Superman), the studio allegedly believes this is a chance to move on from the character established in Man of Steel and have a soft reset that would allow for the introduction of another actor as Superman in the future.
While a sequel solo movie for Superman has long been rumoured, THR’s report suggests that a future Superman film would not enter production for “at least several years” while the studio focuses on Supergirl.
Cavill would allegedly be joining Ben Affleck’s take on Batman on the way out, who has been rumoured to be exiting the role either ahead of or after Matt Reeves’ standalone Batman movie for years, but other more successful elements introduced into the DCEU — such as Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman — would persist into this next iteration of the franchise.
Warner Bros. has given the following statement to The Hollywood Reporter which… doesn’t actually say all that much other than there are no solid decisions about future Superman films:
While no decisions have been made regarding any upcoming Superman films, we’ve always had great respect for and a great relationship with Henry Cavill, and that remains unchanged.
We’ve reached out to Warner Bros. for a response to the report, but had not heard back at time of writing.