What is happening with Superman at DC Studios?
Here's everything you need to know about the big news surrounding the Man of Steel.
If you've been on the internet at all in the past 24 hours, you'll surely have come across a barrage of information regarding Henry Cavill and his future in the role of Superman.
In fact, this isn't anything new. For a number of years now there have been constant rumours about his potential return, after his appearances in previous DCEU films Man of Steel, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League.
However, if you're finding the constant back and forth around whether Cavill is in or out at DC overwhelming, we've got you covered. We've boiled everything down for you to explain just what's happening with the star and the future of DC.
Read on for everything you need to know about the future of Superman at DC Studios.
Is Henry Cavill returning as Superman?
For a long time, fans assumed that Henry Cavill's time as Superman might be done. He hadn't appeared in a film since 2017's Justice League (barring the 2021 Director's Cut of that film, Zack Snyder's Justice League) and there was no clear place for a Man of Steel 2 or any other team-up film on DC's slate.
Then, with the release of Black Adam in October, that all changed. A surprise post-credits scene saw Dwayne Johnson's anti-hero being approached by Cavill's Superman, who told him: "It's been a while since anyone's made the world this nervous. Black Adam - we should talk."
Cue an explosion of excitement from fans, which was only buoyed by an Instagram post from the star himself, who revealed that he was "back as Superman", calling his Black Adam cameo "just a very small taste of what's to come", promising that fans' patience would be "rewarded".
So, based on that, it would seem that Cavill, who recently left his other biggest role in The Witcher series on Netflix, is returning as Superman. However...
Only two months later, and everything changed, following the appointment of Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn and Aquaman producer Peter Safran as the chairmen and CEOs of the newly formed DC Studios.
Their appointment followed the merger of Warner Bros and Discovery, which saw former Discovery CEO David Zaslav take over the newly formed company. It was reported for some time that he had a desire to make DC's output more coherent and joined-up, similar to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with is overseen by Marvel Studios and, specifically, Kevin Feige.
Once Gunn and Safran got to work, Gunn started posting regularly to tease his plans for the new DC slate. Then, last week, these plans became clearer, as an article in The Hollywood Reporter revealed big changes to projects which had already been announced.
The article reported that Patty Jenkins' version of Wonder Woman 3 would not be moving forward, Jason Momoa was out as Aquaman (and might instead be due to play Lobo) and Man of Steel 2 was also no longer on the slate.
Gunn clarified that when it came to the story, "some of it is true, some of it is half-true, some of it is not true, & some of it we haven’t decided yet whether it’s true or not".
However, at least when it came to Wonder Woman 3, Patty Jenkins did confirm that the movie was no longer going ahead, and that it had been her "understanding that there was nothing I could do to move anything forward at this time".
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Following this, it was on 14th December 2022 that Cavill and Gunn both revealed Cavill would in fact not be returning to the role of Superman, and that the team would instead be going in a different direction with the character.
What has Henry Cavill said about his departure?
Cavill announced the news of his departure from the role himself on Instagram, posting a message explaining that he had met with Gunn and Safran, and that he understand "the changing of the guard is something happens" and respects it.
In his post, Cavill said: "I have just had a meeting with James Gunn and Peter Safran and it's sad news, everyone. I will, after all, not be returning as Superman. After being told by the studio to announce my return back in October, prior to their hire, this news isn't the easiest, but that's life. The changing of the guard is something that happens. I respect that. James and Peter have a universe to build.
"For those who have been by my side through the years…..we can mourn for a bit, but then we must remember…. Superman is still around. Everything he stands for still exists, and the examples he sets for us are still there! My turn to wear the cape has passed, but what Superman stands for never will. It's been a fun ride with you all, onwards and upwards."
What do we know so far about the new Superman film?
We know very little about the new Superman movie in development at DC Studios thus far, but we do have some early indications about where the team will be taking it thanks to James Gunn himself.
Gunn took to Twitter to explain Cavill's departure, saying in a thread: "Peter & I have a DC slate ready to go, which we couldn’t be more over-the-moon about; we’ll be able to share some exciting information about our first projects at the beginning of the new year.
"Among those on the slate is Superman. In the initial stages, our story will be focusing on an earlier part of Superman's life, so the character will not be played by Henry Cavill.
"But we just had a great meeting with Henry and we’re big fans and we talked about a number of exciting possibilities to work together in the future."
In replies to comments, Gunn went on to confirm it is a movie that's in development, and that he will be the one writing it - in fact, he has been "for a while". He then confirmed it would not be an origin movie for the character.
Finally, he responded to a Twitter user who asked whether Ben Affleck could direct it. Gunn said that he had "met with Ben yesterday precisely because he wants to direct & we want him to direct; we just have to find the right project".
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