It’s been a while since major buzz was created around Henry Cavill’s return to the superhero scene as Superman. Here’s how DC plans to redeem its most loved character.
For ardent fans of the DCEU, you’ll recall the events that surrounded a very underwhelming Justice League movie back in 2017. Although the movie featured DC’s elite heroes, it didn’t resonate much with fans and consequently didn’t do too well at the box office.
The low performance caused DC’s management to halt plans on any plans headed in that direction for a while. Not long after, it was also rumored that Cavill was done putting on the red and blue costume. Those reports were further fueled by his involvements in other franchise projects which included Mission Impossible: Fallout & The Witcher.
Henry Cavill Reprising Man of Steel
However, back in May, Deadline reported that Henry Cavill was once again in talks with Warner Bros regarding the future of the red cape. Most of the buzz was due the announcement of the release of Zack Snyder’s Justice League. When Joss Whedon took the reins at DC, most of Snyder’s work had been shelved for some unknown reason and replaced with a lot more Whedon style CGI.
We could argue that changing a director mid-production was bad voodoo – though it’s been done in the past – especially considering how important this particular superhero is. Hopefully, the Snyder cut will do justice to the league sworn to serving it up. Three days ago, Zack Snyder confirmed that the Snyder cut is over 3.5 hours.
Henry Cavill himself took to social media after a Man of Steel watch party to express his excitement about the decision to release the Snyder cut. Although there has been no official word on Superman’s future, Cavill has been pretty vocal lately about his desire to keep carrying the torch.
Watch: Henry Cavill Does Q&A with Man of Steel Fans
However, with The Witcher rising to become Netflix’s most-streamed original series of all time, it’s very likely Cavill would eventually have to drop one of the roles. But for now, we know we can expect to see Cavill in the blue tights and red cape again. What we don’t know is if DC would attempt another standalone movie or use him in a supporting role in one of their upcoming movies, with the latter seeming more likely.
Apparently fans and critics feel dubious about Henry Cavill reprising Superman. Some rumors go on to say that WB executives feel another Man of Steel movie might tank on the big screen owing to the average success of the first movie and failure of the franchise.
However, Variety reports about the studio taking a similar route as Marvel took with the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). Given the licensing issues for the character, Ruffalo and Kevin Feige took the cameo route out. Ruffalo portrayed the entire Hulk character arc – from Banner to Hulk to finally Professor Hulk – with several appearances in the entire Infinity Saga.
WB is planning sort of the same thing with Cavill.
Reprising Superman, The Hulk Way
At this point, Cavill is tied with Gadot for most appearances (3), although she would lead by the time Wonder Woman (1984) is released in August. It is confirmed that Suicide Squad and Wonder Woman’s sequel has wrapped up production, so it’s safe to say Superman won’t be making an appearance in any of them.
A more realistic DC movie where Henry Cavill’s Superman can make a return is Shazam 2. Released in 2019, the movie served up an impressive mixture of comedy and Superhero action. The positive reviews it got were a huge relief for DC, considering how abysmal the attempts to adapt their heroes to the big screens have fared in the past decade. Shazam and Superman are well-known allies and the end of Shazam even featured a Superman cameo, so it won’t be surprising if he is more involved in the sequel.
Watch: Cavill Talks about The Witcher and Justice League Snyder’s Cut
Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam scheduled for some time in 2022, is another exciting entry point for the red cape. Black Adam is DC’s anti-hero torch-bearer and a sworn nemesis of Shazam. Since the announcement of a Black Adam solo movie, Dwayne Johnson has taken to Twitter to express his excitement at the chance to play a Superhero role he feels very attached to. Black Adam possesses most of the strength and abilities of Superman, so a pairing – or sparring – of the two is sure to make for good TV.
Aquaman 2 is also in the works and would also be a very exciting movie if Superman were to be brought into the fray. The first Aquaman movie raked in over a billion dollars, becoming the highest-grossing DC movie of all time. There’s no doubt DC would be hoping to repeat or surpass that feat with the sequel, and what better way to do it other than throwing in the Man of Steel.
A lot of DC fans believe another Superman solo movie is long overdue, especially with the previous ones failing to depict the depth of the character properly. It’s no hidden fact that DC studios have had a hard time hitting home with movie adaptations of their heroes. A certain lack of creativity has caused projects like The Flash and The Supergirl movie to be shelved multiple times.
One aspect the DCEU also needs to look into is improving its villain catalogue. They’ve got a long list of exciting villains to choose from the comics that can set up epic showdowns. A standalone movie can allow them to introduce one of Superman’s most notable foes, Brainiac. DC social forums have held discussions on which villain fans would love to see appear in a Superman reboot and Brainiac tops the list. However, it’s safe to not expect a solo Superman movie in the near future.
With Robert Pattinson taking over as Batman, and rumours of talks between DC studios and Micheal B. Jordan concerning the Superman role, it’s hard to see any Henry Cavill appearances going beyond supporting roles and cameos.