Henry Cavill is Superman no more.
The 35-year-old Brit is reportedly leaving the role of Superman after talks with Warner Bros. and DC broke down. Hollywood Reporter says Cavill is hanging up his cape after “contract talks between Cavill’s WME reps and Warners broke down” over a proposed cameo appearance in 2019’s DC superhero movie Shazam!.
Cavill and Warner Bros. are yet to respond to the report.
Dany Garcia, whose company The Garcia Companies manages Cavill, disputes the news saying fans can expect an official update from Warner Bros. today.
The Hollywood Reporter story suggests Warner Bros. had hoped to recruit Cavill, who first played the Kryptonian in 2013’s Man of Steel, for a small part in the Zacahary Levi-fronted film but talks broke down over “scheduling conflicts”. Cavill recently signed up for Netflix’s big budget, 8-part adaptation of The Witcher making him unavailable to play Superman.
The report adds that, as a Man of Steel sequel is years away from production, the studio would prefer to reboot, thus closing the door on Cavill’s return. Another report on Deadline suggests the studio is considering Black Panther and Creed star Michael B Jordan as the next Superman.
The studios focus is said to be turning to a new Supergirl movie, which would be set years before Man of Steel.
“Superman is like James Bond, and after a certain run you have to look at new actors,” their studio source is reported to have commented.
Cavill has played Superman in three DC films: 2013’s Man of Steel, 2015’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and 2017’s Justice League. The report suggests that Warner Bros. will use Cavill’s exit, plus the increasingly likely departure of Ben Affleck as Batman to “reset” the DC franchise.
“There’s a recognition that some parts of the previous movies didn’t work,” says a studio insider.
Cavill recently spoke to Yahoo Movies UK about his dreams for a Man of Steel sequel, saying that he hoped the filmmakers would look to Brian Azzarello’s For Tomorrow comic title for inspiration.
“There’s a lot of weight to it,” he explained. “I don’t know if it’s the exact one I’d make a movie out of but I’d definitely take tones from it. You really get an insight into Superman’s mind. He talks to a priest a lot and you see him trying to save the world in literally the most magnificent of ways.
“He’s doing his utmost to save humanity and create a perfect place for everyone to live but then realises that he can’t, but it’s beautiful that he tried. He’s so naive in some aspects of it but he’s using all the power that he possibly can to create a utopia and within all this stuff is a lot of darkness, a lot of sadness in him.”
There’ll be a lot a sadness here if Cavill truly has quit the role. His departure is sure to cast a cloud over the promotion of DC’s next film Aquaman, which hits cinemas later this year.
Watch this space for updates.