Plenty of ink has been spilled and pixels dedicated to dissecting the Zack Snyder portion of the DCEU. Regardless of how people feel about him or his movies, however, they’re more likely to agree that Henry Cavill has never quite had a chance to shine as he might as Superman.
He got one solo movie in Man of Steel, meant to kickstart DC’s entire cinematic universe, then quickly got sidelined in what was supposed to be his sequel movie when early screen tests showed audiences responding positively to Ben Affleck’s Batman. Man of Steel 2 turned into Batman v Superman. Poor Supes couldn’t even get top titular billing in what was originally supposed to be his sequel. And Justice League, well, it had its own well-documented problems.
The result is that more than a few fans have felt Cavill got done a bit dirty, never getting the chance to fully dive into the character. It was a familiar feeling for those who watched something similar happen to Andrew Garfield in the role of Spider-Man.
But now those fans can rejoice, for there’s renewed hope that Henry Cavill may not be hanging up the cape quite yet. Deadline has reported that the actor has been in talks with Warner Bros. to reprise his role of Superman. It’s unclear where he’d fit in, with sources saying it wouldn’t be a standalone film but that he could return to the DC universe in a number of ways.
Still, even if he’s not getting his own movie, appearing in that of another character might tip the needle a little closer in his favor. Cavill himself is not done in his heart with playing Superman. On a press tour for The Witcher last December, he spoke about where he’d take a Man of Steel sequel and it was clear he still has great passion and love for a character. And it was also clear he’s aware taking a dark and broody angle with Superman was daring but, in hindsight, not the right decision for a character who has traditionally been a beacon of hope, saying
“Where we left off with Man of Steel, in particular, was the guy who had found his place, or was trying to find his place but had sort of found it by the end, that had committed something which he would consider a most horrific sin by killing the last member of his species. That is a place where I would like to travel from with the character. Him exploring the positivity of who he is. Not necessarily the chocolate box version, but the leaning into that. That character who becomes an icon of hope and enjoying that experience rather than necessarily being made uncomfortable by it.”
Personally, I’d love to see Cavill get another crack at playing the Big Blue Boy Scout. I always felt he was the right actor in the wrong contect, and I’ve been hoping for a direct Man of Steel sequel for years. There was an incredibly interesting story to mine in the bones of Batman v Superman that would serve as a great foundation for a Man of Steel 2.
It’s a long shot that we’ll ever get that movie but, hey, stranger things have happened. Marvel finally greenlit a Black Widow solo movie eight years after Scarlett Johansson’s first appearance in the MCU. It’s not impossible to think that if Warner Bros. and Cavill play ball and a great story idea for a sequel comes along that the studio might be willing to give it a shot.
In the meantime, it’s fun to think of the possibilities and all the ways Cavill might fit back into the plans of the DCEU.