WB had apparently been courting Cavill for a Superman cameo in the upcoming Shazam!, which hits theaters April 5th, 2019. However, much as it caused the infamous mustachioed issues with Justice League reshoots, the actor’s commitment to Mission Impossible: Fallout conflicted with the Shazam! schedule. It appears that the contract breakdown led Cavill to sign onto Netflix’s new series The Witcher, which many took as a sign that WB was indeed moving on from their current Clark Kent.
Whatever the case, WB will instead shift its focus to its upcoming Supergirl movie from writer Oren Uziel (22 Jump Street,The Cloverfield Paradox). That story is set to follow a teenaged Kara Zor-El on Krypton, meaning her younger cousin, Kal-El, would be far too young to don the S.
That’s likely okay with WB, as the studio appears to have no plans for another Superman film “for at least several years,” according to THR. “Superman is like James Bond, and after a certain run you have to look at new actors,” a studio source told the publication. Cavill had in the suit for five years, beginning with 2013’s Man of Steel, followed by 2016’s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and last year’s Justice League.
Update: Though a new Superman movie appears to be a long ways off, WB and DC are eyeing Michael B Jordan as a possible replacement to Cavill.
Update: WB has released a statement that does little to clarify any misunderstandings regarding Cavill’s future as Superman. “While no decisions have been made regarding any upcoming Superman films, we’ve always had great respect for and a great relationship with Henry Cavill, and that remains unchanged,” said a studio spokesperson. While that emphasizes that the future of Superman solo films in the DCEU is up in the air (zing), it doesn’t exactly confirm or deny that Cavill is still their Man of Steel.
Making matters even muddier, Cavill’s manager, Danny Garcia, tweeted a message saying, “Be peaceful, the cape is still in his closet.” Even that, though, was followed up by saying the studio “has been and continues to be our partners as they evolve the DC Universe,” which again casts doubt on Cavill’s involvement.
With Cavill gone, it looks as if the DCEU will be losing two of its Big Three. Ben Affleck isn’t expected to return to the cape and cowl of Batman, whether its because of his rising insurance costs or writer/director Matt Reeve’s desire to go for a younger Dark Knight in his standalone Batman film. As the only proven successful solo Justice Leaguer, Gal Gadot seems safe as Wonder Woman, while Jason Momoa’s Aquaman solo film is coming this December and Ezra Miller is expected to begin shooting his Flash movie early next year.
Studio insiders confirm to THR that, “There’s a recognition that some parts of the previous movies didn’t work.” That’s a sentiment echoed by WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey at a recent investor conference, where he said, “Some of our franchises, in particular at DC, we all think we can do better.” As such, ousting Cavill seems like another step by WB/DC Films to try to course correct the critically and financially disappointing DCEU.