Movies & TV / Columns

Should DC Recast Superman?

July 6, 2020 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
Justice League Superman Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

I want to make it clear that while we’ll be discussing Henry Cavill’s future as Superman in the DC cinematic universe, we won’t be bringing up Zack Snyder’s Justice League cut. That’s one horse I’m done beating. 

Fun fact: The first use of “beating a dead horse” is credited to orator John Bright in reference to the Reform Act of 1867, which called for more democratic representation in Parliament. Trying to rouse Parliament from its apathy on the issue, he said in a speech, would be like trying to “flog a dead horse” to make it pull a load.

OK, onto Cavill. Rumors have swirled for a while that he’s been in talks to return to the role of Clark Kent/Superman and he’s come out in an interview discussing just that. 

When asked recently about it he said:

They get wilder and wilder by the day. The amount of speculation, the stuff I read on the Internet, is extraordinary and sometimes frustrating. It’s when you see people stating stuff as fact. Like, “No, that’s not the case. That hasn’t happened, and that conversation isn’t happening.” But the important thing is that people are excited about it, and I think it’s important to be excited about a character like Superman. Superman is a fantastic character. If people are chatting about it, and even if they’re making stuff up, it’s okay, because that means they want to see the character again. And in an ideal world, I would absolutely love to play the character again.”

From the looks of things, he’s still in play. It was only a couple of years ago when Warner Bros. released a statement that made fans wonder if Cavill’s days of playing the Man of Steel were over. 

“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,” read a statement from a Warner Bros. spokesperson in 2018.

This was around the time that “sources” told The Hollywood Reporter that Cavill, who has played Superman in three movies, would not be returning.

It was reported that Warner Bros. was planning on having Cavill make a cameo in Shazam! but talks between Cavill’s WME reps and the studio went south. A Warner Bros. source said the Shazam! didn’t come together due to scheduling conflicts.

While the DC cinematic universe has a number of projects on the calendar, a solo Superman movie isn’t planned for a number of years. “Superman is like James Bond, and after a certain run you have to look at new actors,” says a “studio source”.

It’s no secret that Warners is looking to improve and strengthen the DC movie brand after years of uneven results at the box office. While rushing out the gate to compete with Marvel hasn’t resulted in the critical love and box office numbers they desired, they still can get things moving in the right direction with a couple of solid moves.

And lest we forget the rumors last year that names like Michael B. Jordan and John Krasinski were tossed around to play the Last Son of Krypton, with Jordan’s name inspiring the expected backlash online.

Now it all comes back to Cavill. With everything going on, will he put the cape back on? I, for one, would like to see him get a strong script that utilizes his potential in bringing a worthy portrayal to the screen. Up until now he’s been hindered by weak stories and characterization. 

What are your thoughts? More Cavill or yet another recast?