Will we ever see Man of Steel 2? In 2013, Henry Cavill premiered as the new Superman in Man of Steel, giving birth to the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). He’s gotten to reprise the role three times since then, but we never got a direct sequel to his solo film. In an interview that went live today, Cavill talks about how much he wants to do the follow-up, and what he thinks it would be about.
The chat with Henry Cavill comes courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter (THR), who notes that Man of Steel includes an ending that proved contentious among viewers — Superman’s intentional killing of the Kryptonian villain Zod (Michael Shannon). This, Cavill says, would have been at the core of Kal-El’s continuing story. He calls Zod’s killing “the choice [Superman] made in that moment, and he’ll never do that again” Cavill explained the decision was more painful because he doesn’t just kill a person, but “the last remaining member of his species.” For a Man of Steel 2, Cavill sees “an opportunity for growth after that, to explore the psyche of Superman as a deep, seemingly invulnerable god-like being but with real feeling on the inside.”
And if it isn’t clear yet, Man of Steel 2 is a movie Henry Cavill wants to make. He tells THR that there “is still a lot of storytelling for me to do as a Superman, and I would absolutely love the opportunity.” Cavill ends his words on the subject with “As I always say, ‘The cape is still in the closet.'”
Will Henry Cavill ever get the chance to put the cape back on? The actor got the relatively brief chance to return to the role for new shots and scenes in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, but otherwise his last film as Superman was 2017’s Justice League. Otherwise, the last time he was even mentioned in the DCEU is when we learn Idris Elba’s Bloodsport put him in the ICU in The Suicide Squad.
There are rumors that Henry Cavill will make anything from a cameo to a major appearance in 2022’s The Flash, with some of those reports pointing to him being canonically erased by the events of the film. There are also rumors that Warner Bros. is ghosting Cavill, presumably while they find someone to fill his red boots. With the success of The Suicide Squad, it could be that Warner Bros. is hoping to pivot away from the critically panned and controversial aspects of the DCEU of the 2010s, though it would seem strange for them to target Cavill specifically. Jason Momoa and Gal Gadot, for example, are likewise associated with those early DCEU films, and they don’t seem to be going away any time soon.
Almost a decade after the release of Man of Steel, it may be tough to remember just how controversial Superman’s killing of Zod was. In fact, director Zack Snyder told Empire Magazine (via Collider) that Man of Steel co-writer and producer Christopher Nolan didn’t agree with Henry Cavill’s Superman killing Zod, and needed a lot of convincing. Acclaimed comic book writer Mark Waid — who, along with many other comics, wrote the seminal 1996 mini-series Kingdom Come — caused a stir when he wrote on his since deleted blog (via ScienceFiction.com) that he’d yelled at the movie screen and nearly walked out of the theater when Kal-El killed his foe.