Henry Cavill's time in the classic Superman tights appears to have come to a close. Sources now say that, after appearances in DC movies starting with Man of Steel, Cavill is leaving Warner Bros. and clearing the path for a new future for Superman in the DCEU, though neither side was ready to go on record and confirm this at the moment.
The sources are speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, who actually go on to say that Warner Bros. and DC worked to get Henry Cavill to cameo in the upcoming Shazam! movie, which will be in theaters in April 2019. But talks broke down over scheduling conflicts, and now the trade says that the door is closing, probably for good, on Cavill's turn in the Superman suit.
While THR says that the sources are pushing the "scheduling conflict" as the cause of Henry Cavill's non-appearance in Shazam! -- backed up by the fact that he just committed to a Netflix series The Witcher -- this is also being viewed as a means toward WB pushing the reset button on certain component of the DC Cinematic Universe, as the trade goes on to say that it's expected Ben Affleck will not move forward as The Batman on screen anymore, either. This would mean a complete 180-degree spin away from the controversial Batman v. Superman, and leave Justice League as the last time either actor was seen on screen in the DC world.
Not that Warner Bros. will be throwing out the entire baby with all of the bathwater. Gal Gadot and Patty Jenkins are hard at work on Wonder Woman 1984, a continuation of the Diana origin story that crushed with audiences. And Jason Momoa is toplining an Aquaman movie in December, though neither of them have direct ties to the DC movies that Henry Cavill starred in. Instead, they work as standalone films, as does Shazam! So maybe this can be a cleaner break than people anticipated?
The Hollywood Reporter goes on to say that the departure of Henry Cavill from the role of Superman could be caused by the studio's supposed focus on a Supergirl movie. Not only would this shift the attention to a younger character, it would sideline Cavill's own franchise for years as DC explores avenues for characters who haven't yet had a chance to shine. Warner Bros. has announced progress on movies starring The Flash (Ezra Miller), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) and the Joker (Joaquin Phoenix), while Man of Steel 2 couldn't get off the ground. This likely forced Henry Cavill to look toward the exit.
We could be back to the drawing board on DC's top two heroes. Matt Reeves reportedly wants to cast a younger Bruce Wayne before he embarks on his Batman movie, and if Cavill indeed departs, then DC is back at square one when they do finally decide to extend the on-screen story of the Last Son of Krypton. There's a lot of uncertainty in the air around the DC Cinematic Universe, even as it moves forward with three exciting projects in Aquaman, Wonder Woman 1984 and Shazam! So stay tuned for more details as we receive them.