July’s animated feature, The Death of Superman is starting to feel oddly prescient these days following reports that actor Henry Cavill is no longer the Man of Steel.
In an article published Wednesday morning, The Hollywood Reporter says inside sources indicated that Cavill, who’s played Superman since 2013’s Man of Steel, has been essentially kicked out of DC’s cinematic universe. Neither Cavill’s representatives nor DC Entertainment has confirmed this news, but issues reportedly arose from scheduling conflicts trying to film Cavill for a cameo in Shazam.
One of THR’s sources claims there are no plans for another Superman movie for the next few years.
“Superman is like James Bond, and after a certain run you have to look at new actors,” another studio source said, adding, “There’s a recognition that some parts of the previous movies didn’t work.”
Essentially, the studio plans to hit the “reset” on the entire universe. Following several years in which the only real hit was Wonder Woman, this might actually be a good idea for the DCEU.
All this comes amidst Warner Bros. and DC plans to focus on a Supergirl movie instead of Superman, perhaps aping on the success of The CW’s Arrowverse, which continues to thrive while totally avoiding both Superman and Batman.
Cavill’s ousting isn’t exactly a surprise considering the monumental flop of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which focused on the conflict between Cavill’s Superman and Ben Affleck’s then-new Batman. That film was meant to kickstart DC’s cinematic universe, building towards Justice League in a way that, in theory, would’ve aped the MCU’s crossover model. But after the poor reception for Batman v Superman and the mediocre response to Justice League, both actors find themselves hanging up their red and black capes as DC pivots to something else entirely.
DC still has a full cinematic slate for the immediate future, starting witha Aquaman solo feature due out in theaters December 21, 2018. Shazam!, which will have no Superman cameo, hits theaters on April 5, 2018. Then Wonder Woman 1984 is scheduled for November 1, 2019. The only DC film scheduled after that is the Flash standalone movie, which may or may not adapt Flashpoint.
The next time anybody sees a live-action Superman, it’ll be during this year’s December Arrowverse crossover, as played by Tyler Hoechlin.
Update: Cavill and Warner Bros. have both released statements, declining to confirm (or fully deny) the news. Here’s a tweet from Danny Garcia, Cavill’s manager, on the report:
And here’s a statement from Warner Bros. (via THR):