Henry Cavill is leaving the Superman role after three disastrous outings

cavill man of steel

The DC Comic universe has been broken for years. Christopher Nolan left them with an impeccable – although extremely dark – Batman franchise and Warner Bros handed over Nolan’s work to Zack Snyder, who proceeded to lens flare and Batfleck the crap out of it. It’s been a dark time. The only good thing to come out of the darkness was Wonder Woman, and Gal Gadot’s performance. But even Gal couldn’t save the sinking ship of the DCU at this point. For months now, there have been rumors of major shakeups to come, major roles being recast, and perhaps even a change at the top. But I wasn’t expecting this – Henry Cavill is OUT as Superman.

The DC cinematic universe appears to be losing its Man of Steel. Henry Cavill, who has played Superman in three films, is parting ways with Warner Bros., sources tell The Hollywood Reporter. Though neither side is confirming, the British actor, who first donned the blue suit for 2013′s Man of Steel, and then starred in 2016′s Batman v. Superman and last year’s Justice League, is said to be hanging up the red cape.

Warners had been trying to enlist Cavill, who most recently co-starred in Mission: Impossible — Fallout, for a Superman cameo in Shazam!, which stars Zachary Levi and will bow April 5. But contract talks between Cavill’s WME reps and Warners broke down, and the door is now closing on other potential Superman appearances. That’s because the studio has shifted its focus to a Supergirl movie, which will be an origin story featuring a teen superheroine. This effectively removes an actor of Cavill’s age from the storyline’s equation given that Superman, aka Kal-El, would be an infant, according to DC lore.

Furthermore, Warners isn’t likely to make a solo Superman film for at least several years, according to another source. “Superman is like James Bond, and after a certain run you have to look at new actors,” says a studio source. As such, Cavill will join Ben Affleck, who isn’t expected to reprise his role for director Matt Reeves’ forthcoming Batman stand-alone film, as a hero on the way out.

[From The Hollywood Reporter]

To me, Henry Cavill-as-Superman was sort of do-no-evil. Cavill wasn’t the best in the role, but he looked positively Shakespearean compared to the nonsense of the Batfleck. But mostly, the problem was handing off the universe to Zack Snyder, who drove it into the ground. Warner Bros didn’t have a multi-tiered, multi-phased plan for their universe like Marvel had with their universe, and it shows. This is a gigantic mess, but I don’t blame Cavill for leaving (if it was, in fact, his choice to go).

'Justice League' film premiere, Arrivals, Los Angeles

Photos courtesy of WENN, ‘Man of Steel’.

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70 Responses to “Henry Cavill is leaving the Superman role after three disastrous outings”

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  1. ValiantlyVarnished says:

    Dumbest thing DC and Universal have done since casting Affleck as Batman. Cavill was NOT the problem. Their insistence on rushing every story, their utter lack of tone or understanding of what their universe should look like are. Cavill was the best Superman since Reeves. He deserved better. Universal and DC speng way too much time trying to compete with Marvel and this is why the DC Universe is in shambles. I will watch the next Wonder Woman outing but other than that I’m out on this franchise.

    • Tania says:

      I agree. DC has my favorite superheroes and Superman is my favorite superhero of all time. They need to stop and evaluate and look at what they want DC to look like. Cavill was a good Superman – he fit the role – the material was the problem.

      I would honestly build it around Wonder Woman and maybe this Super Girl and let a woman run the show. That would be refreshing.

      I don’t much care for MCU but they did manage to drag me into to Infinity Wars knowing Wakanda would be a heavy factor.

      • Lala11_7 says:

        @Tiffany…I STILL remember going to see Routh’s Superman in the theater…that iconic scene…where Routh is hoovering over the planet just listening…I almost STOOD UP IN THE THEATER AND SHOUTED…BY GEORGE…THEY FINALLY GOT SUPERMAN RIGHT!!! There was SO MUCH they got right in that film…ESPECIALLY him and Marsden’s character who himself was a SUPERMAN in that film…I thought THEY were perfect….everything else….

        No…NAW…nope!!!!

      • SlightlyAnonny says:

        Oh my gosh yes, Brandon Routh was so so good as Superman. And then the James Marsden character…it really felt that they got who Superman was….so they never did it again.

      • BorderMollie says:

        If only they’d cast a better actress to play Wonder Woman. In present state, it’s just not enough to carry a franchise, especially given how bad Aquaman looks.

        I also liked the Routh film, but it’s connection to Singer taints it these days.

    • Lala11_7 says:

      I agree with EVERYTHING you said…except, next to Reeves…I think Brandon Routh was the BEST Superman..my GAWD DID THAT PLUCK THAT UP!!!!! I actually think that Affleck is an excellent Batman…one that I have been wishing for…FOR YEARS…but as you said…it’s the quality of the scripts and the Directors…though I appreciated “Man of Steel” a WHOLE BUNCH…the rest since then, sans “Wonder Woman”…NO WAY!

      • Tiffany says:

        I liked Routh as Superman as well and I did not think his film was as horrible as other people made it out to be.

      • grabbyhands says:

        I feel for Brandon Routh – he did a good job, he just got stuck in a bad movie with horrible co-stars (who thought Kate Bosworth was a good idea?).

      • KLO says:

        Yea I agree that Affleck was a very good Batman. I thoroughly enjoyed him in the last movie. He had the presence to portray the character.
        I thought his costume looked stupid though. Something about the headpiece was off.

      • Xi Tang says:

        I was living in shame because I thought I was the only one who enjoyed the batfleck. No more!

      • Amy Tennant says:

        I’m glad I’m not the only one who came here to speak up for Batfleck. And yes, Routh was a good Superman and looked very much like Christopher Reeve. And, unfortunately, Kevin Spacey was a very good Lex Luthor, maybe because he was actually evil all along and we didn’t know it. but that’s all that needs to be said about that.

      • bonobochick says:

        I actually like Superman Returns. I know I am in the minority there but other than the casting of Kate Bosworth as Lois, I enjoyed the film. It definitely reminded me of the Reeves’ Superman movies.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        I really liked Routh in Superman Returns.

      • Sandra says:

        I agree, Ben Affleck is an excellent Batman. I think he’s the best one.

      • Ange says:

        I just thought Batfleck was so gross and creepy with Wonder Woman. I’m sure it was meant to be flirting but they had such a lack of chemistry it really just came across as a woman being sexually harassed at work.

    • jessamine says:

      I also agree. The issue with the Superman films is entirely with the material. And universal’s marvel-knockoff re-writes/re-shoots aren’t the answer either — they need to do some serious soul-searching and come up with an original directions for DC films.

    • Jayce says:

      I agree! Henry is an amazing Superman. The man lives and breaths the character even when he isn’t shooting any DC films. He must be gutted.
      The material is the problem here. The last couple of DC films simply haven’t been that great, to say the least. Suicide Squad and Justice League were actually pretty horrible. WB can’t even blame Cavill for the latter, he’s got a glorified cameo in that film and they made him a laughing stock with mustache gate.

      WB needs to stop making crappy DC films that nobody wants to see.

    • The Recluse says:

      I thought Cavill did a decent job as well. He was believable. I liked their new Flash and I like what I’ve seen so far of Momoa’s Aquaman. And of course Wonder Woman!!!

    • Deering says:

      Warners thought they could do an instant MCU/ blockbuster franchise by handing the DC world off to a shaky moneymaker. Couple that with dubious casting and no overarching vision outside of making big bucks, and there ya go.

  2. Tiffany says:

    I mean, does Henry have enough stuff lined up to walk away from a easy paycheck franchise. I don’t think this was all his doing.

    • jammypants says:

      He got cast in The Witcher recently

    • Mia4s says:

      Sort of his doing, but not for any creative reasons. If you read between the lines he and WB were doing some renegotiating, and his people came in to it looking for a healthy raise…except this is not a healthy franchise. So they knew what it would cost to keep him and instead went “Nah, we’re good”.

      • Tiffany says:

        Your theory makes a ton of sense Mia. What was WB thinking, with the way things are now and no one talking about Aquaman (remember that is opening in December), he is the only star left. If they think they can do better, than so be it.

    • Jess says:

      Yes, he does. He was part of the very successful Mission Impossible movie. And just signed a contract to play Witcher on Netflix. If Netflix plays it right, “The Witcher” can become bigger than “Game of Thrones” (at least the books are better)

      • Shae says:

        Well actually after Man of Steel wrapped Cavill hardly had any roles. Guess his team thought MOS was going to make him a superstar. Got to get out there and hustle for those jobs. Might be different now.

      • Jess says:

        @Shae, not really, he started MI preparations right away. they had to stage all the fight scenes and prepare for stunts, etc.

  3. girl_ninja says:

    That was fast. If DC wants to be the serious brother to Marvels fun/cool sister than at least Chris Nolan to direct. Zack is so much like Mike Bay in his over the top direction. They can make a great Superman movie, I hope they find the right fit.

  4. SJhere says:

    Ya know, Cavill is a tall, good looking guy. Fair enough.
    He was good in The Tudors.
    But, there is nothing about him that makes me want to see him in a new movie. Of course, I’m not the Superhero movie target audience either.

    I admit the next film I plan to see at the theaters will be John Wick 3.

    Everything else will eventually come to either Netflix or Amazon Prime. I can wait.
    Hope Cavill is watching his spending, his big $$ is now over. Can he open a movie on his own?

    • BANANIE says:

      Seriously can’t wait for John Wick 3!! Keanu – now that’s a guy with star power.

    • Shae says:

      I liked him in Tudors but the way his life played out, was he actually acting?

    • BorderMollie says:

      He’d still be getting merchandise money from toys and stuff for years, and since it’s really exhausting to keep up with superhero star requirements, he might be secretly relieved honestly. Stars in franchise movies are controlled in every way, even what they say in interviews outside promoting can be restricted.

    • josephine says:

      He was quite good in the latest Mission Impossible movie – it was a nice surprise. I think he’ll stick around, especially if he continues to branch out.

    • Betsy says:

      I’ve only seen him in Count of Monte Cristo and the UNCLE movie. It’s funny, he’s super attractive (now – as a child he was just a child), but it’s more just that he’s fun to watch.

    • Jayce says:

      Funny that you should mention John Wick 3. Wasn’t Keanu box office gold with the Matrix films for WB? They dropped him like a sack of potatoes after 47 Ronin flopped hard.

      I’m so happy Keanu had his Reevessurrection with the John Wick films with another studio.

      • FF says:

        The WB was already starting with Keanu after CONSTANTINE didn’t make as much as expected (and the fanboy contingent hated it because Keanu is the phenotypic opposite of Sting, who the character John Constantine is based on). THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL is what actually killed it. He said so himself (although I liked it).

        JOHN WICK is what’s currently single-handedly holding up his career.

        I legit wished Fincher fanboys hasn’t torched that Chef project Keanu and David Fincher were going to work on together some years back. I really wanted to see who would get tired of non-stop retakes first: Fincher or Reeves. Guess we’ll never know now.

        (Also this post made me lol given that every MCU post seems to be or end up about how comic book movies need to stop and are everywhere. Yet one DC post and it’s 90% praise. So at least now that makes perfect sense, in retrospect.)

        Lastly, Routh’s Superman was my favourite. Everything else in that film was a miscast typical Bryan Singer hot mess but the Routh-as-Superman bits were impeccable.

  5. Nancy says:

    I don’t find this guy hot. He lost me when Kaley Cuoco called in the paps for their morning coffee runs. Surely he could have done better. Christopher Reeve owned Superman!

  6. lolamd says:

    I liked him as Superman. I just thought the material was bad. And I am not even sure why Zack Snyder got the job as Sucker Punch and Watchmen were unwatchable, for me at least. I don’t even think Chris Nolan would be the right person either.

    • Heather says:

      ZS got the job because of the incredible box office 300 did.

      • Deering says:

        ZS got a ridiculous amount of slack from 300’s success. He got handed the graphic novel holy grail Watchmen _and_ the entire DC franchise just because he did one not-that-great-but-profitable comic book movie.

  7. bonobochick says:

    The issue isn’t HC.

    He can act but they don’t write for him (or any of the actors, really). Wonder Woman may be the only movie that was more character driven than plot driven but more than anything Warner Brothers seems like they have no clue what to do. Zack Snyder didn’t help either.

    The writing, the directing, and the lack of overall vision for the movies are such obvious problems… not the actors, IMO. I still don’t understand why someone thought it was a good idea to do the Justice League movie without having done stand alone movies first like the Marvel movies did. Introducing half the team in the actual movie was dumb.

  8. Lightpurple says:

    My 89 year old great aunt was a DC Comics girl through & through. She had some dalliances with Batman but Superman was her guy. Cavill’s Superman was so bad, she ran straight into the arms of Captain America and she’s not looking back. She’s MCU to the core now. She liked Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman but thought the ending was botched and why is it always dark and raining and that guy is NOT Superman.

  9. thaisajs says:

    HC was actually pretty watchable in The Man from UNCLE with Armie Hammer and he was great in The Tudors. They wrote the part to be so dour in these DC movies so he really didn’t have that much to work with. Just a lot of muscle flexing and looking pained. He doesn’t really do much for me, given his penchant for professing his undying love for a series of teenage/ early 20-something girls. I’d be happy if they just focused on Wonder Woman.

    • BANANIE says:

      The Man from U.N.C.L.E was pretty underrated, I think. Have you seen him in the latest Mission Impossible? Just can’t get over the mustache.

    • Lightpurple says:

      I really enjoyed Man from UNCLE. It was perfect summer fun.

      • Betsy says:

        I enjoyed that movie more than I thought and I found a piece on the internet that listed a bunch of things that make it a feminist movie. Then I loved it even more.

  10. ElleBee says:

    DC missed a major opportunity to have a Robin movie with Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Nolan set that up perfectly but they were too busy trying to keep up with Marvel.

    Thus far, Marvel’s casting and execution have been flawless and it’s really showing how incompetent the DC heads are. That universe has far better villains than Marvel but somehow manages to get it wrong every time. How?!

    Cavill definitely isn’t the issue here.

    • FhMom says:

      I just rewatched The Dark Knight Rises and Joseph Gordon Levitt was actually Robin. I was wondering what happened with that. JGL is such a wonderful actor, and Christian Bale’s Batman was perfection.

  11. Jess says:

    I honestly have no idea why they would hire Zack Snyder over and over again. He’s terrible. I tried watching Batman vs Superman couple of days ago and I just turned it off after 30 minutes. Impossible to watch. Affleck was also the worst casting choice. Only Gadot and Ezra Millez (flash) save the day.
    Anyway, Henry just got a new gig of playing a Witcher on new Netflix show. If you guys haven’t read the books or played the PS game yet, you should do it ASAP. The story is one of the best in the fantasy world, even more spectacular than Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones in my opinion.

    • Xi Tang says:

      I’m baffled whenever someone says that gal was the best part of..anything. Her acting is so bad, unwatchable even. No emotion or facial expressions…“kal al nooo”…cringe.

      What DC need to do is shut it all down and take a break.

      • Jess says:

        Gal was amazing. Wonder woman is supposed to have different emotions than the rest of us – she grew up on a secluded island in a tight women-only community.
        And I’m pretty sure they auditioned hundreds of women before choosing her. Batfleck just got offered a role (he told this himself in an interview)

    • diana says:

      Guess acting IS subjective. Because I thought gal‘s performance was cringey as hell. I also watched her in that dumb movie with Jon Hamm and she was so so bad.

    • Shirurusu says:

      That’s funny Jess, I also tried to watch superman vs Batman a few days ago and failed miserably. The movie just doesn’t make any sense!! And why is the batfleck so awful and angry?? Zack Snyder must be the worst director of all time. And Gerard Butler was the one who made 300 a hit imo, without him it would have looked too silly. Hoping for next wonder woman and Snyders fast exit and for Witcher too be good

  12. Caitlin Bruce says:

    I’ve never been a huge fan of his but he was great in the latest Mission Impossible

  13. Mel says:

    I LOVE him as Superman, he isn’t the problem, the problem is that DC doesn’t know what it’s doing. The movies are brown and drab. Marvel thought out their storyline and you can see how all the movies tie together, DC did no such thing.

    • KLO says:

      I like him as Superman too. But I found the movies to be just TOO BORING. Nothing interesting going on.
      Even his chemistry with Lois was kinda boring, although I adore Amy Adams and I was very happy when I first found out that she was cast as his love interest.

      Cavill was way better as Superman in the Justice League movies. There he had something interesting to do, like die and be angry etc.

      i like Cavill way more as a baddy. I think he desperately wants to be the “positive and perfect role model and superstar actor” But I feel like it is a lie and a front.

      Give me some Evil Cavill any day though.

  14. grabbyhands says:

    The DCU just needs to close shop for a while and re-group. Almost every move they’ve made has been disastrous. Just focus on what you’re doing well (Wonder Woman) and let the rest of it fall away until you can sit down and hire a good team that can work together. Lay out a plan and quit trying to force stuff through as fast as possible. Accept that Marvel has the jump on you by a number of years.

  15. Darla says:

    I like Affleck’s Batman. I cannot stand Cavill as Superman. But yeah, the writing is the big problem and Snyder stinks.

    I am waiting to see if Aquaman can pull it off. IMO he was the best part of Justice league, and now we’ll see what happens in the stand alone. I feel after Aquaman comes out I will have a better feel for whether DC is going to cut it or just be wonder woman.

  16. Ginger says:

    Good for him. DC wasted him. He was gorgeous and likable, but the character was poorly written. I didn’t even bother to see Justice League.

  17. MeghanNotMarkle says:

    I liked him in The Tudors but haven’t been compelled to watch him in anything since. I’m a MCU girl all the way. I can’t get through more than 30 minutes of the DC snoozefests. Ok, I find the Spider-Man movies insanely boring, too, but that’s my only real gripe with the MCU.

  18. Jared says:

    Henry Cavill is a great Superman, but the movies are terrible, over CGI’d dreck. I also think Superman Returns with Brandon Routh was amazing. Seriously, go back and watch it right now, it is terrific. I remember the criticism at the time…’He doesn’t throw a punch in the entire movie!” being a very common complaint. Superman doesn’t have to punch, he’s the most powerful super hero in existence. But I digress, the DC movies are terrible, save Wonder Woman which I think may be the best one since Batman Begins. The whole DC film universe needs a reboot.

  19. Parigo says:

    I heard Jon Hamm is up for Batman, and I’m not sure how I feel about that.

    But Michael Bae as Superman….YES PLEASE!

  20. geekychick says:

    considering his incredibly sexist take on metoo that he expressed in recent interviews(It was covered on cb), his choice of gf which includessafari hunters, GOOD.
    I have to admit that I just can’t with Cavill in lead roles. especially in Superman, where he should be charismatic af! every superhero should be at least be noticable. with Cavill, I have a feeling that if they put Michelangelo’s David in it, the statue would be more öifelike than Cavill.

  21. ZGB says:

    I never thought I’d see the day that it would be okay to boldly proclaim love for Brandon Reuth’s Superman!! Finally!!

  22. Bread and Circuses says:

    Yeah, Cavill is not the problem (Affleck is also not a problem, although he needs to get sober). In terms of casting, the DC movies were slurping in AMAZING actors.

    Those movies being crappy movies were the problem.