We’re still grappling with the news we’re not getting another Henry Cavill-starring Superman film. Almost a month to the day Warner Bros. Pictures announced Cavill’s return as the Man of Steel, we’ve learned that’s no longer the case. Newly launched DC Studios co-CEO James Gunn confirmed that yes, a new Superman film in the works, but Cavill would NOT be returning. The question is- why?
It seems like Cavill was the unfortunate victim of a tug-of-war between Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and DC Studios. Apparently, Johnson had been seeking a piece of the DC pie since “Black Adam” was first announced. As in- he REALLY wanted creative control of the DCEU, and wasn’t quiet about it. [See: his use of the line “the hierarchy of power in the DC universe is about to change” on Instagram.] The wrestler-turned-actor pushed hard for Cavill to have a cameo in “Black Adam,” which did happen, much to the delight of fans. While it seems Johnson was advocating for Cavill’s inclusion for fanservice, some say that wasn’t really the case.
“In the end, he [Cavill] was a pawn in Dwayne’s failed attempt to control a piece of DC,” one ‘insider source’ claims. It’s a scathing remark to be sure. The implication Johnson’s push wasn’t story or character-driven, but instead for full creative control. Johnson had been pushing for a “Black Adam” sequel, and an eventual Adam vs. Superman film, since the project was first confirmed.
“Black Adam” only grossed $389 million worldwide. Which is roughly half of what it needed to break even. It just hit HBO Max over the weekend, surprising fans and critics alike. Johnson has also unfollowed all “Black Adam” and Warner Bros. accounts on social media as of December 16th.
This whole rigmarole is unfortunate, but Cavill was gracious in his comments on the situation. He’s a fantastic actor who isn’t hurting for roles, despite leaving Netflix’s “The Witcher” series earlier this month. His next project is another property he’s a huge fan of- a “Warhammer 40,000″ series for Amazon, which he’ll star in and executive produce. (Also, maybe this means he’ll have time to start that “Highlander” reboot.)
We’ll keep you updated on DC Studios, Superman, and other news.