via The Hollywood Reporter
Henry Cavill, who has played Superman in three films, is parting ways with Warner Bros., sources tell The Hollywood Reporter. Though neither side is confirming, the British actor, who first donned the blue suit for 2013’s Man of Steel, and then starred in 2016’s Batman v. Superman and last year’s Justice League, is said to be hanging up the red cape.
Warners had been trying to enlist Cavill, who most recently co-starred in Mission: Impossible — Fallout, for a Superman cameo in Shazam!, which stars Zachary Levi and will bow April 5. But contract talks between Cavill’s WME reps and Warners broke down, and the door is now closing on other potential Superman appearances.
That’s because the studio has shifted its focus to a Supergirl movie, which will be an origin story featuring a teen superheroine. This effectively removes an actor of Cavill’s age from the storyline’s equation given that Superman, aka Kal-El, would be an infant, according to DC lore.
Furthermore, Warners isn’t likely to make a solo Superman film for at least several years, according to another source. “Superman is like James Bond, and after a certain run you have to look at new actors,” says a studio source. As such, Cavill will join Ben Affleck, who isn’t expected to reprise his role for director Matt Reeves’ forthcoming Batman stand-alone film, as a hero on the way out.
A Warners source says the Shazam! deal fell apart because of scheduling conflicts. And that is backed up by the fact that Cavill recently signed on to star in the Netflix series The Witcher. However, another source says that the Witcher commitment came after the Warners impasse, suggesting a change in Warners’ strategy.
“There’s a recognition that some parts of the previous movies didn’t work,” says the studio insider. Another source says Warners is trying to hit a “reset” button with the DC universe, steering its ship slowly into another direction.
While Affleck and Cavill are segueing out, others who were seen together onscreen in Justice League are carrying forward. Gal Gadot is returning for Wonder Woman 1984, to hit theaters in November 2019. Jason Momoa headlines a solo Aquaman movie this December. And Ezra Miller remains on board to star in a Flash movie, which is due to shoot in early 2019.
Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara and chairman of Warner Bros. Pictures Group Toby Emmerich are looking to reinvigorate the studio’s DC Universe, which is still playing second fiddle to the Marvel Universe in terms of box office and critical acclaim. Just six years ago, when The Dark Knight Rises closed out the Christopher Nolan trilogy, DC was the superhero team with the mojo. But so far, only Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman spinoff has lived up to the promise of the franchise.
We really hate to see Henry go. There have been a number of actors to play Superman on film since the character’s inception, but he ACTUALLY LOOKED AND WAS BUILT LIKE SUPERMAN. We know the DC Cinematic Universe is going through some growing pains, but we are sure they will get it together. We wish Henry the best of luck. You know we think he would make a pretty good Wonder Man or Hercules. Marvel Studios are you listening?