At this point, I’d be cautious to take news coming out about any cinematic Superman with a grain of salt, but here’s the latest: Henry Cavill is reportedly in talks to reprise his role as the Man of Steel in future DC Extended Universe films.
Deadline broke the story, noting that “sources with knowledge” of the situation say Warner Bros. is trying to bring Cavill back for multiple DC movies. However, one of those is not a standalone sequel to 2013’s Man of Steel. Instead, Cavill’s Superman would appear in supporting or cameo roles in other characters’ movies, with many comparing the arrangement to something like Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Looking ahead, WB currently has Wonder Woman 1984 awaiting an August 14th release after a COVID-19-induced delay, while The Suicide Squad wrapped filming back in February and is currently in post. It’s also unlikely that Supes would cameo in Matt Reeves’ delayed The Batman, as that movie is trying to establish a new Dark Knight with Robert Pattinson, and Cavill is already very connected to Ben Affleck’s take on the character.
So, logically, that leaves Shazam 2, Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam spin-off, Aquaman 2, and the long-troubled The Flash as likely targets for the return of Cavill. (The original Shazam featured a brief Superman chest-down cameo, though it wan’t Cavill in the role.) Those are the next films on DC’s docket, but why am I skeptical until the ink dries? Because WB has long demonstrated it has no idea what it’s doing with Superman or the DCEU.
In 2018, it was reported the Cavill was done wearing the red cape. WB, it was said, would instead turn its attention to a Supergirl movie, with Oren Uziel penning a script. A year later, Supergirl appeared stalled and DC was rumored to be talking with Michael B. Jordan about taking over as Superman in a new franchise. Earlier this month, murmurs began that WB had shelved Supergirl altogether to put the focus back on Superman, arguably the DCEU’s tentpole hero. You’d have to have a neck of steel not to get whiplash from all that back and forth.
As of now, Cavill is tied with Gal Gadot for starring in the most DCEU films at three (Gadot will hit four when 1984 arrives). He’s generally well-liked as Superman, and it would be good to see him get a chance to continue the character. Whether or not that actually happens, well, we’ll wait and see.