DC Universe: Superman fans shouldn’t worry about Henry Cavill’s departure

Henry Cavill (Superman / Clark Kent) in Zack Snyder's Justice League. Photograph by Courtesy of HBO Max
Henry Cavill (Superman / Clark Kent) in Zack Snyder's Justice League. Photograph by Courtesy of HBO Max /

More bad news came out the DCEU camp with the announcement that Henry Cavill would not return as Superman, but fans shouldn’t worry.

Many DC Universe fans have been clamoring for a new direction, consistency, and continuity. James Gunn and Peter Safran have the passion and dedication to deliver just that. Gunn has shown to understand what the fans want and the willingness to work tirelessly to bring their vision to life.

The Guardians of the Galaxy director has used Twitter to interact with fans, dispel rumors and bring some transparency in terms of what the duo plans to do. He hasn’t revealed what’s going to happen with the DC Universe outside of wanting to bring a cohesive universe similar to Star Wars. That passion is something that should be celebrated and appreciated. However, they may have to wait before they get any appreciation, given the latest news. Days after Patty Jenkins’ exit from Wonder Woman 3 surfaced, it was revealed that Henry Cavill will not come back as Superman in Gunn and Safran’s DC Universe.

Fans wasted little time expressing their anger about the decision, understandably so. Cavill was the face of the DCEU since becoming Superman in Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel (2013). Over the years since, we got glimpses of Cavill in Batman vs Superman and a glorified cameo in Justice League. Despite the endless promises of a true sequel to MoS, Warner Bros failed to deliver. With Gunn and Safran, fans hoped they’d get to see Cavill as their Superman — that won’t happen.

As fans of the superhero genre, it’s natural to feel a sense of attachment to certain actors who have played iconic characters on the big screen. So, when it was announced that Cavill would no longer be playing Superman, it’s understandable that some fans may have been worried and upset. However, there are several reasons why fans shouldn’t be concerned about Cavill’s departure from the role.

Cavill the superstar may be too big for Superman

Gunn and Safran have proven themselves to be successful directors and producers in the film industry, with a strong track record in both the Marvel and DC universes. Their vision for the DC Universe is one that is fresh and innovative, and they have a clear idea of where they want to take the franchise in the future.

Unlike previous directors and producers, they have the freedom to take the franchise in new and exciting directions, without having to worry about continuity or sticking to a certain formula. This allows them to be more innovative in their approach, and to bring fresh ideas and perspectives to the table.

Unfortunately, Cavill doesn’t fit this vision, and that’s perfectly fine. His star is continuing to shine outside of the DCEU, which could be another reason why Gunn and Safran wanted to move on. Cavill is in high demand as one of Hollywood’s it guys. He has received critical plays for his acting prowess and leading man capabilities. With a successful career in both film and television, it’s likely that Cavill will have a full plate of projects to work on. If the role requires a significant amount of time and dedication, it’ll be difficult for Cavill to commit to playing Superman on a long-term basis.

Could Cavill commit to Superman long-term? Probably not the best idea to trust that he’d commit to playing the character for the next 10 years, which is what Gunn and Safran are reportedly looking for. Cavill’s departure also gives the duo a chance to save money in terms of the movie budget as they could shift the money away from the star and into other areas of the film. A young, up-and-coming actor can help them do that.

Gunn and Safran see Superman as a young Man of Tomorrow

Seeing an older more established, and seasoned Superman is cool. If Gunn and Safran wanted to, they could have rebooted Superman with Cavill, but the character is often portrayed as young and energetic, and it’s possible that the filmmakers want to cast an actor who is closer in age to the character. This is not to say that Cavill is too old to play Superman, but rather that there may be other actors who are better suited for the role in the long term.

Cavill’s departure is not a reflection of his talent or his portrayal of the character. He did an excellent job as Superman, and his performance will always be remembered by fans. James Gunn and Peter Safran have a specific vision for the character and the direction they want to take the franchise in. Superman is the face of DC and the duo would like to build around the character for the next decade or so.

Think about what Kevin Feige did with the MCU’s Captain America: The First Avenger. The film starred a young Chris Evans in his late 20s, who then went on to play the character for the next decade. Given Cavill’s age (39) it’s hard to imagine the veteran actor being able to commit to a role in his late 40s.

With a fresh start comes fresh stories. In this case, sequels and stories we haven’t seen. We haven’t had a Superman franchise on the big screen since Christopher Reeve. At least now, we’d get to see a young Superman in his early years as he continues to grow into the grizzly old Man of Steel. Cavill was supposed to give us that, but Warner Bros didn’t give us the films in time. With a new Superman, we would also get a Superman who didn’t murder Zod. This version could be the beacon of hope, light, and justice without having his hands bloody.

No, we don’t need an origin story, and James Gunn all but confirmed we will not get one. Comic book fans know that Clark Kent doesn’t become Superman until his late 20s. Fans already have their choices from Austin Butler, Jacob Elordi, Alexander Ludwig, and Dacre Montgomery, to name a few.

Right now, fans are in an uproar and that’s okay. However, they shouldn’t be worried about Henry Cavill no longer playing Superman. While Cavill did an excellent job in the role, it’s clear that Gunn and Safran have a specific vision for the character and the direction they want to take the franchise in. Ultimately, it’s important to trust the creative decisions of the filmmakers and look forward to what the future holds for the Superman franchise and the DC Universe.

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What are you hoping to see in the new Superman movie? Let us know your ideas in the comments below!