DC’s latest set back happened yesterday when it was announced that Henry Cavill, known for his long-standing role as Superman, is apparently hanging up the cape.
Warner Bros. had been trying to get Cavill, who most recently co-starred in the newest Mission Impossible film, to pop in for a moment during the Shazam! film, starring Zachary Levi premiering April 5, 2019. Unfortunately, contract talks between Cavill’s WME representatives and the studio giant fell apart. Apparently, because of that, his chances of reprising the roll have all but dried up as well.
This is primarily due to the fact that Warner Bros. is now shifting focus to the Supergirl movie, most likely because of the huge success of their other comic heroine, Wonder Woman. So how does the one affect the other? Well aside from the previous DC films mostly flopping, it falls on the comic book lore. Being that Supergirl is an origin story, focusing on the rise of the teenage superheroine, this would essentially remove a Superman of Henry’s age from the equation. Timeline-wise, Kal-El (Superman) would be an infant during this time.
In addition to this, another source has revealed that Warner Bros. isn’t planning another solo Superman film for quite a few years to come. The studio source stated, “Superman is like James Bond, and after a certain run you have to look at new actors,” and while I disagree, it isn’t surprising that DC is trying to “soft reset” their cinematic universe. So it seems Cavill will be joining Ben Affleck, who won’t be donning the cape and cowl for Matt Reeve’s upcoming Batman standalone film, as a hero bowing out.
After the initial story released, Warner Bros. released a statement stating, “We have a great relationship and great respect for Henry Cavill that continues to remain unchanged. Additionally, we have made no current decisions regarding any upcoming Superman films.”The Warner Bros. source claims that the Shazam! deal dissolved due to scheduling issues, which isn’t surprising considering Cavill just signed on to play Geralt of Rivia in the upcoming Netflix Witcher series.
While this might make sense, another source claims that Cavill’s Witcher contract came into being after the Warner Bros. talks fell apart, which would mean that Warner Bros. had been planning this for some time.As I previously speculated, another source hinted at the fact that Warner Bros. is attempting to “reset” the DC universe, quietly guiding it in a new direction. “There’s a recognition that some parts of the previous movies didn’t work,” they said. Again, this isn’t surprising if you think that the studio just got a new CEO.
Even though Cavill and Affleck are leaving, other heroes that debuted in Justice League are moving forward. Wonder Woman 1984 will see Gal Gadot reprising her role as the Amazon badass, which is set to premiere in November 2019. This December will see the solo Aquaman movie starring Jason Momoa come ashore, and the Flash solo film is still set to begin production sometime in 2019 with the return of Ezra Miller. So all is not lost.
After the Batman Trilogy ended, it seemed that DC were going to be the ones riding the comic book-to-film success wave. Sadly, since then, Patty Jenkin’s Wonder Woman has been the only other DC film to receive widespread success. Warner Bros. CEO, Kevin Tsujihara, and Group Chairman, Toby Emmerich, have been looking for ways to reinvigorate their cinematic universe since their films have been coming up short when compared to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Maybe seeing Cavill and Affleck exit is a good time to reset and start fresh?
Warner Bros. new Media CEO John Stankey was asked about the DC Studio during an investor conference on September 6, at which time he both commended and took a shot at the studio stating, “Hats off to Kevin and Toby and their team.” but then followed up with “Some of our franchises, in particular at DC, we all think we can do better.”
While it would make sense to just completely start over with a new slate, at this time that is seemingly impossible due to how many years ahead the planning for these films needs to be. Here’s hoping that DC can get back in the rhythm of things soon, otherwise we might not be seeing too much more of the Justice League in the coming years.
What do you think of the reports of Henry Cavill hanging up the cape? Let us know in the comments below!