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Why Man Of Steel 2 Has Apparently Failed To Take Flight

For those who have held onto the hope of seeing a sequel to 2013's "Man of Steel," it may be time to let that hope go. Nearly a decade after Henry Cavill first put on Superman's spandex, Warner's DC Films division has floundered in its attempts to craft a shared superhero universe able to rival Disney's Marvel Cinematic Universe. Though Cavill appeared as the last son of Krypton in "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" and both versions of "Justice League," a second solo Superman movie has failed to materialize. Now, amid multiple shakeups at the studio, the reasons for that failure to launch are being put into focus.

On paper, DC's superheroes should be a money-printer for Warner Bros, remaining among the most universally recognized characters in pop culture, Superman chief among them. The symbol of truth, justice, and the American way has even been referenced in the films of its rival franchise, the MCU. But new information reveals that multiple plans for "Man of Steel 2" have languished in the early stages of development amid studio confusion and new shakeups in leadership.

Man of Steel 2 was allegedly axed by Gunn and Safran

The biggest news out of Warner in recent weeks has been the DC reboot managed by new DC Films heads James Gunn and Peter Safran, and the possibility their arrival may also have scuttled nascent plans for "Man of Steel 2," according to The Hollywood Reporter. The outlet's sources indicate that "Peaky Blinders" creator Steven Knight drafted a treatment for the Superman sequel only a few months ago but was scrapped after Gunn and Safran arrived. However, it was on shaky ground with Warner executives even before the new leadership came aboard.

Meanwhile, previous DC Films head Walter Hamada was working to put Henry Cavill back under the cape, with plans to cameo Cavill's Clark Kent in a series of films building up to an adaptation of the beloved "Crisis on Infinite Earths" comic book storyline. This would presumably have dovetailed with plans for "The Flash" movie and would have brought back Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck as Batman alongside Cavill's Superman. And recently, "Black Adam" star Dwayne Johnson was going to the mat in his own effort to bring Cavill back to DC.

With the entire future of DC's cinematic universe seemingly on hold while Gunn and Safran enact a ground-up rehaul of the franchise, it seems "Man of Steel 2" is trapped in the Phantom Zone. However, such tentpole characters as Superman are likely to be rebooted. Whether Cavill reprises the role at that time remains to be seen. DC's new chiefs, especially Gunn, remain tight-lipped.