Henry Cavill looks like he’s fully on his way out as Superman. In what was a pretty surprising set of circumstances that played out over the course of last week, the actor has been all but removed from the role going forward. Though there’s still some chance we see Cavill appear in the DC Extended Universe, it isn’t going to be in any major way. Insider Daniel Richtman has it that Warner Bros. is willing to offer Cavill some cameos here and there in the part but for all intents and purposes, his days as Superman are numbered.
While Henry Cavill doesn’t appear all that happy about his treatment from the studio of late, it won’t change the inevitable that they’ve moved into a new day and age when it comes to the Superman character. After months of rumors surrounding the character and Superman’s future on-screen for DC, it was announced that Warner Bros. was going in a completely new direction. Ta-Nehisi Coates was brought on to pen a new script and going forward Superman is going to be played by a black actor. It might be Michael B. Jordan in the role, or maybe even John Boyega. That much isn’t confirmed yet.
It’s worth mentioning that Henry Cavill moving on from DC’s main Superman, and him completely exiting the role aren’t mutually exclusive events. There’s more than a little chance that this new Superman simply won’t be a Clark Kent version of the character but rather someone new who happens to hail from Krypton with similar powers. There’s some baseline for this in the comic book pages with a Calvin Ellis storyline coming out in recent years. That would line up with Cavill sticking around for the Superman scraps, so to speak.
So Henry Cavill could definitely still play the role in some fashion, and as Richtman suggests, be part of cameos along the way. But the major role with this new storyline is going to be the aforementioned pivot within the universe. Bringing on a completely new Superman doesn’t necessarily mean his ouster from DC as a whole, just a definitive shift in focus for Warner Bros. Cavill isn’t part of the future in any meaningful way.
Obviously, Henry Cavill still has some on-screen time as Superman coming in the not-so-distant future. Zack Snyder’s Justice League is set to premiere on HBO Max on March 18th. It will be the updated (and hopefully improved) version of the movie we saw come out a few years ago under Joss Whedon’s vision. The goal is to right the wrongs of that film and Cavill clearly has a central role in that story.
And maybe Henry Cavill isn’t done with the superhero genre at all, but simply moving universes. There’s been some rumoring of late that he’s angling to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Captain Britain. Does that carry the same iconic weight as Superman? Of course not. But there are always other spandex to don in this movie day and age. Maybe Cavill makes the pivot himself and just moves on entirely.