Henry Cavill is Hanging up the Cape as Superman
Henry Cavill is hanging up the cape after playing Superman in three films. The Hollywood Reporter broke the story that Cavill and Warner Bros. have parted ways (neither side has confirmed this as of yet) after three films, beginning with 2013’s Man of Steel, then 2016’s Batman v Superman and last year’s Justice League. Cavill’s arc as Superman saw him in a bruising three-part story that began with his arrival on Earth, the titular brawl with Batman (which ended with him sacrificing his own life to stop the real antagonist in that film, Doomsday), and his resurrection in Justice League. Cavill joins Ben Affleck as two of the five members of the Justice League who are moving on, while DC is still going strong with Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman 1984, the upcoming solo debut for Jason Momoa’s Aquaman, and Ezra Miller’s solo Flash film, which is scheduled to begin shooting in early 2019.
Cavill, who recently put in great work as a brutish CIA agent in Mission: Impossible – Fallout, was possibly going to have a cameo as Superman in the upcoming Shazam!, but scheduling conflicts scuttled the plan. Warner Bros. is looking ahead to a Supergirl movie, which, because it’ll be an origin story featuring a teen superheroine, would make Cavill’s Superman a non-starter due to his age (THR points out that in Superman lore, Kal-El would only be an infant at the time.)
Cavill’s three-film run as Superman came during decidedly thematically dark turn for DC, and it makes sense that as Warner Bros. looks ahead, specifically with Supergirl’s bow and the fact there likely wouldn’t have been another stand-alone Superman film for a few years, now would be the time to make this move. There’s a lot going on in the DC extended universe right now, anyway. Along with Wonder Woman 1984 and Aquaman, we’ve got Todd Phillips’ stand-alone Joker film starring Joaquin Phoenix film in production.
While Man of Steel, Batman v Superman and Justice League were not Marvel-sized smashes (although by any sane accounting they were still successful), Cavill, to us, was always an excellent Superman. Noble but imperfect, almost too powerful for his own good, and struggling to shine a little light in very dark times.