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Henry Cavill Won't Return As Superman In Newly Announced James Gunn-Penned Film

With the Marvel Cinematic Universe up and running, Warner Bros. launched its own shared film universe in 2013. Dubbed the DC Extended Universe, the franchise kicked off with "Man of Steel": a reboot of the Superman brand within the DCEU starring Henry Cavill as the title hero. While one might expect this would make Cavill's Superman the cornerstone of the budding silver screen universe, this wasn't entirely the case. After only a handful of outings as the character, doubt was cast over his future in the role as he all but disappeared from the DCEU.

After much speculation about Cavill's future as "The Man of Tomorrow," it seemed like things were looking up for him in 2022. The Dwayne Johnson-led "Black Adam" debuted at long last that year, featuring a post-credits scene depicting a stand-off between Superman and the leader of Khandaq himself. Between this, Cavill's departure from "The Witcher," and a change in direction at Warner Bros. in regards to its DC Comics-based productions, it seemed like Superman was back in business after an unexpectedly long and confusing hiatus.

As the old saying goes, easy come, easy go. It appears that Henry Cavill is officially done as Superman mere weeks after making his return to the part via "Black Adam." Although, that's not to say he's done in the DC Universe as a whole.

James Gunn is hopeful to keep Cavill under the DC banner in some form

On December 14, 2022, Henry Cavill made a heartbreaking Instagram post to officially announce his departure from the role of Superman. As he explains, this news comes after a meeting between him and DC Studios leaders James Gunn and Peter Safran, who are currently in the process of overhauling the DC film and television slate. "James and Peter have a universe to build. I wish them and all involved with the new universe the best of luck, and the happiest of fortunes," he writes, going on to thank all who've supported his take on "The Man of Steel" and remind them that Superman is much bigger than him. He's not going away by any means.

In fact, as James Gunn revealed on Twitter, Superman will return to the movies in the very near future. "Among those on the slate is Superman. In the initial stages, our story will be focusing on an earlier part of Superman's life, so the character will not be played by Henry Cavill," the "Guardians of the Galaxy" and "The Suicide Squad" mastermind shared, bringing up another interesting point. In a follow-up tweet, he notes that he and Safran are working hard to keep Cavill under the DC banner in a different capacity. How he'll factor into the new roadmap remains to be seen, but Gunn promises several exciting possibilities.

What the future holds for Henry Cavill in the DC Universe remains to be seen, but one thing we know for sure is that it'll more than likely not connect to Superman. The films he featured in varied in quality, and he didn't always have the most dashing upper lip, but it's hard to deny just how hard Cavill worked to become Kal-El. No matter what, he'll always be a major part of Superman's legacy.