During the fan-led campaign to release the Zack Snyder cut of Justice League, the director’s Superman stayed oddly quiet. When asked directly about the, at the time, controversial idea of releasing the so-called Snyder Cut, Cavill dismissed it. He wanted to focus on the Superman stories still to tell. Last year at San Diego Comic-Con, an interaction with a fan confirmed the idea that Henry Cavill still wanted to play Superman. He wants to tell the kind of hope-filled, optimistic story that Superman is known for. It’s worth noting that this sort of story flew directly in the face of Snyder’s vision for a dark, apocalyptic tale of these gods and monsters. Still, amends are being made all around the Warner Bros. family, it seems. Three separate reports suggest that Henry Cavill will play Superman in the DCEU again.
Since the release of Black Widow was pushed back due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, Marvel Studios hasn’t made much noise. Kevin Feige and company seem content to continue to ride the (waning) high from the success of Avengers: Endgame. So, other than some newfound corporate synergy with Disney+, we don’t know what the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe holds. For once, DC and Marvel are in the same boat. After middling success, they scored major hits with Wonder Woman, Shazam!, and Aquaman. These characters all live in a corner of the DC Multiverse we are familiar with, specifically the DC Extended Universe.
Thus, Warner Bros. said they would focus less on a cohesive universe, and more on telling good individual stories. Yet, bringing Henry Cavill back to play Superman in the DCEU will go a long way to building the sort of shared universe Warner Bros. said they no longer care about.
How Henry Cavill Will Play Superman Again in the DCEU
Image via Warner Bros.
While both Cavill and the many fans who love his Superman want a sequel to Man of Steel, that’s not in the cards yet. The new reports suggest that Cavill is in talks with Warner Bros. to return as Superman, just not in his own film. The story first came from Deadline and TheWrap.com, followed by a confirmation an hour later by Variety. The talks are not for a full movie (yet). And this makes sense, given the upcoming slate of films and current uncertainty about when Hollywood can go back to work.
Instead of a standalone film, he may come back for appearances in upcoming DC films. Now, it’s unlikely that they could add a Superman scene to Wonder Woman 1984, which had three unfulfilled release dates before its current one of August 14, 2020. James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad is also complete, though it’s possible they could film a cameo or post-credits-style scene with Cavill. (Especially since Gunn’s desire to a Suicide Squad movie saved Cavill from being recast.) Oh, and there is the Ezra Miller Flash movie, but that’s not as definite as the others.
However, it’s possible that Henry Cavill could play Superman in one of the DCEU movies in pre-production. There are sequels to Shazam! and Aquaman underway, and Superman could fit into both of those stories. However, the movie that seems like it could use as much Superman as possible is the forthcoming film featuring Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam. Either way, with Cavill popping up as such an iconic and beloved character in DCEU films, it will make that world truly feel like a shared universe for the first time.
But what about The Batman?
The Problem With Batman and the DCEU
Matt Reeves’ The Batman takes one of the major Justice League players effectively off the table for the DCEU. Robert Pattinson’s Batman will take place in its own world, and the villains in this story are all being eyed for spinoffs. Sure, there is always the chance that the Flash movie happens, and they use some speedforce magic to retcon Ben Affleck’s Batman into Pattinson’s. But it would be a move all-but destined to fail, especially with fans who genuinely loved Affleck’s take on the aging vigilante.
Of course, it might not even be a problem. Anyone with any knowledge of the business of Hollywood thinks there is much chance of Ben Affleck playing Batman again as there is of actual Kryptonians landing on Earth. Yet, the same thing was said about Henry Cavill playing Superman in the DCEU again or the completion of the Snyder Cut. We are in a new media landscape, and (especially if he comes back just to die) who knows if Affleck will suit up with his super-compatriots again.
Either way, it seems that Warner Bros. has not entirely given up on the DCEU. While they love the success of films like Joker and the buzz surrounding The Batman, their experiment to create a shared universe worked in its own way. People love these versions of the characters and want to see more of them.
What do you think? Do you think that Henry Cavill will play Superman again in the DCEU means more will be coming? Or do you think they are trying to gracefully end that iteration so they can reboot the characters once again? Tell us below.
Featured image via Warner Bros.
Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.