Superman might return to the DCEU, but Henry Cavill shouldn't
We need a new Superman.
Justice League marked the last time Henry Cavill donned Superman’s iconic suit and cape, or so we thought. Recent reports suggest the British actor will reprise his role as Clark Kent/Superman in the DC Extended Universe. However, after playing the superhero in three movies, Henry Cavill seems to have moved on from the DCEU.
According to a flurry of reports overnight from Deadline, The Wrap, and Variety, the actor is reportedly in talks to return as DCEU’s Superman. However, the extent of his potential comeback is incredibly vague and has not been confirmed by either Warner Bros. or Cavill himself.
That said, the report reveals that his return won’t be for a standalone film and there are no current plans for a Man of Steel sequel. It’s possible that Cavill could make cameo appearances in Black Adam, Shazam 2, Aquaman 2, or maybe even an eventual Justice League sequel. Then again, it's possible these rumors all started simply because the actor has agreed to complete some voice work for the Zack Snyder cut of Justice League, which was officially announced in May and is set to stream exclusively on HBO Max in 2021.
It’s hard to pinpoint how Henry Cavill’s return might impact the DCEU, if at all. But it certainly feels like donning the red cape once more might be a step backward for the actor, who’s moved past living in the shadows of his larger-than-life superhero counterpart. Even the DCEU has moved on from the grim and gritty tone of its earlier films for lighter fare like Shazam! and Aquaman.
In the years since Justice League, Cavill’s gone on to star in the successful Mission: Impossible - Fallout and as Sherlock Holmes in Netflix’s upcoming mystery Enola Holmes. Most notably, however, he famously played Geralt of Rivia in The Witcher series and was in the middle of filming Season 2 when production shut down in March.
It’s a role he’s devoted to and posts about often. Cavill was able to make Geralt his own, embodying the brooding bounty hunter to great effect. He’s forged a new path for himself separate from his arguably controversial version of Superman. All that said, it’s hard to imagine why he’d want to retread old ground by returning to the DCEU at all.
What’s more, around the time of Justice League’s two-year anniversary last fall, all the big players from the cast took to social media with the hashtag #ReleaseTheSnyderCut. All except for Cavill, that is.
Speaking with Yahoo! Movies in 2018, the actor was lukewarm on the Snyder Cut, explaining that he’d rather look to the future than relive past roles:
“I don’t know if [a Snyder cut] actually exists so the only way I can look at it is as a business model, and I don’t know what difference it’s going to make. There are stories to be told, which need to be told and adjustments that can be made, but that’s not going to make any difference.… So it would be interesting to see what the difference is, but I’d rather focus on the future rather than what’s been.”
Of course, there’s no telling how things will pan out, or if Henry Cavill’s potential return to the DCEU will even come to pass. However, it’s obvious that the actor is over the Superman phase of his life, and that’s perfectly fine.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League is scheduled to be released on HBO Max in 2021.