Is Henry Cavill Still Superman? Why the Actor Is ‘Not Going to Sit Quietly’

Ever since the 2017 failure of Justice League, the DC Extended Universe has been on a mission to bounce back. The franchise has had some notable hits, with both Aquaman and Shazam! launching new solo heroes. But Warner Bros. has had more trouble with its two most popular DC characters.

Rumors swirled for a while regarding Ben Affleck’s potential return as Batman. Yet, ultimately Matt Reeves’ film The Batman was positioned as a reboot with Robert Pattinson in the lead. But what of Henry Cavill’s Superman?

Henry Cavill on the red carpet
Henry Cavill on the red carpet | David M. Benett/Dave Benett/WireImage

What went wrong with Superman?

Right from Man of Steel onward, some fans refused to accept Superman as a brooding, morally complex hero. But director Zack Snyder’s updated version of the character aimed to add more depth to him. Overall, the film proved to be a solid reintroduction to Superman and a great start for the DCEU.

Then, of course, Warner Bros. decided to rush into a Marvel-style shared universe. Rather than a traditional sequel, Man of Steel was followed by Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. While critically derided, that film has developed a cult following and turned a modest profit.

Still, Superman’s arc was somewhat intact, setting the stage for his return in Justice League. But that didn’t come to pass, at least not like Snyder envisioned it. Due to a personal tragedy, Snyder understandably stepped away from the film.

The result was a jumbled mess partially directed by Joss Whedon. Justice League works neither as a standalone adventure nor the culmination of Superman’s arc. Ever since, fans have wondered whether Henry Cavill was ready to leave the franchise, as Affleck had done.

Is Henry Cavill still the Man of Steel?

Cavill has dropped hints on social media teasing his continued involvement with the DCEU but has rarely seized the opportunity to set the record straight. In a new interview, the actor makes it clear he’s not ready to let another actor take a crack at the last son of Krypton.

The cape is in the closet. It’s still mine. I’m not just going to sit quietly in the dark as all this stuff is going on. I’ve not given up the role. There’s a lot I have to give for Superman yet. A lot of storytelling to do. A lot of real, true depths to the honesty of the character I want to get into. I want to reflect the comic books. That’s important to me. There’s a lot of justice to be done for Superman. The status is: You’ll see.

So there you have it. For his part, Cavill sounds like he’s still interested in being the DCEU’s Superman, even after “mustache-gate.” Of course, fans could take Cavill’s words at face value, but that doesn’t mean he’s definitely coming back. Remember Affleck’s pre-Justice League assurances he would star in The Batman?

Can DC redeem him after ‘Justice League’ failed?

Even if Cavill is genuinely still hopeful about playing Superman again, it’s ultimately not completely up to him. Warner Bros. might decide to recast instead, or the two parties might simply not be able to work out a deal. Since nothing’s been confirmed, rumors continue to pop up about other actors who could take over.

Of course, Cavill’s Superman is not beyond saving. His resurrection in Justice League essentially gives Warner Bros. clearance to hew more closely to a classic version of the character. Perhaps the studio can finally greenlight a proper Man of Steel sequel. Solo films for other DC heroes are on a hot streak right now, after all.

Warner Bros. may be skittish about leaping into a new Cavill-led Superman film. If that’s the case, then why not have him appear in a supporting capacity in that now-in-development Supergirl film? This would reaffirm Cavill’s place in the DCEU while letting fans reacclimate to Cavill’s Superman after Justice League.

Hopefully, DC Films and Warner Bros. can make up their minds soon. A DCEU without its flagship hero is bound to cause problems down the line. Cavill, Superman, and the fans deserve treatment better than they’ve gotten so far.