Henry Cavill’s days as Superman may be behind us, according to a new report.
Sources close to The Hollywood Reporter say that Cavill and Warner Bros. have parted ways after contract talks over a cameo in Shazam! fell through. Moreover, the studio isn’t planning a Man of Steel sequel for “several years” and is instead focused on the Supergirl movie that was revealed back in August.
The studio, meanwhile, remains coy on the matter. In a statement issued after the THR report, it said: "We have a great relationship and great respect for Henry Cavill that continues to remain unchanged. Additionally, we have made no current decisions regarding any upcoming Superman films.”
Later on Wednesday, Cavill posted a cryptic video to his Instagram account – set to a version of Johann Strauss II’s famous classical composition, “The Blue Danube”, featuring a dog barking to the tune – in which the British actor slowly raises a Superman action figure into the frame as he looks into the camera, and then slowly lowers it out of the frame. The caption? “Today was exciting #Superman”.
"Superman is like James Bond, and after a certain run you have to look at new actors," an unnamed studio source told THR. Other sources paint a conflicting picture of Cavill’s departure, with one claiming it was scheduling conflicts with his recently-announced casting in Netflix's upcoming The Witcher series while another says that Netflix deal was only reached after Warner Bros. decided not to make a solo Superman film.
Present since the beginning of the DC film universe, Cavill has donned the red cape in three films: 2013’s Man of Steel, 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and 2017’s Justice League. The financial and continued critical disappointment of the last one prompted executive reshuffling at Warner Bros. and DC, which has since been seeking a new approach to superhero fare.
The upcoming release slate includes Aquaman in December, Shazam! in April 2019, the Joker origin movie in October 2019, and Wonder Woman 1984 in November 2019. Other projects in the works include a standalone film for The Flash, set to begin filming early next year, and Matt Reeves’ The Batman, which will focus on a younger version of the character; and Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn-led all-female anti-hero group Birds of Prey.