Henry Cavill doesn’t have long in his role as Superman. Being at the top of a major franchise can always be something of a tightrope walk. If things are going well, then in Hollywood there’s nothing better. But if things begin to go off the rails a little, well you might be hung out to dry and blamed in part for the issues. That might be the case with Cavill these days at DC. But it hasn’t stopped the actor from still wanting to be part of the universe going forward and it appears he has an idea about how to pivot. Apparently, Cavill wants to keep playing Superman, but instead as the evil version of the character.
This latest Henry Cavill rumor comes from insider Daniel Richtman who’s saying that the actor is embracing the idea of playing evil Superman as part of the Knightmare timeline. This all works under the assumption that DC and Warner Bros actually still want him in any role. Even that part isn’t all that clear. But Cavill wouldn’t mind hanging around if he got to go a little black hat, leaning into a side of Superman we really haven’t seen all that much before, especially on screen.
The Knightmare arc that is being suggested by Henry Cavill refers to a storyline in the future of the DC Universe in which Superman has turned to the dark side, so to speak, and is now a tyrannical warlord over Earth. This has come in the wake of Lois Lane’s death and it essentially breaks Superman, making him switch to a more evil and scary version of the character. We saw this briefly in the original Justice League when Batman has a vision of a timeline, washed out in the desert in which he’s attacked by Superman’s henchmen. Apparently, Zack Snyder’s Justice League will focus more on this part of the story in the new film coming out later this month.
Henry Cavill might not be in the position of making demands around his character or Superman’s future these days with the studio seeming to all but move on from him in the role. That’s because it was recently announced that there would be a new Superman coming into town with J.J. Abrams producing a new movie and Ta-Nehisi penning the script. While not confirmed on a star yet, the new Superman will be played by a black actor moving forward.
This news and the apparent fear that even Zack Snyder’s Justice League won’t completely cure the issues with this current iteration of the DC Universe has made Henry Cavill one of the first Justice Leaguers moving out of the franchise. Sure, there’s still a chance he cameos here or there, but moving forward the company is moving in a totally new direction.
Maybe Henry Cavill leaning into an evil Superman would be the way to go. It would, for sure, distance him from the original character and maybe offer the studio a chance to keep him around without conflicting too much with their new projects. But it’s unlikely. If anything they see this as a chance to begin a totally new story and move on from the previous versions of the character.