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Superman Fans Hold Onto Slivers Of Hope After Henry Cavill Hangs Up The Cape

The dust has finally settled on the messy, public transition period from the post-Zack Snyder-era of DC to that of James Gunn and Peter Safran. Seemingly in favor of starting their universe fresh and without the baggage of a previous continuity, DC Films' new CEOs have decided to formally let Henry Cavill go — the actor won't return as Superman.

His fleeting DC renaissance ended as it began, with a heartfelt Instagram post cautiously explaining what he could about the situation. Though Gunn's own public statement on the matter was fairly optimistic (the director quashed rumors of infighting, attributing the decision to a diverging script he'd been writing for years while describing "exciting" opportunities for Cavill at DC down the line), Cavill's perspective seemed understandably somber and definitive. Ironically, the difference in their reactions was reflected by Cavill's many fans, who took to social media last night to mourn the end of an era.

Some feel Cavill's career has been ruined by DC's decision

Henry Cavill has become something of a people's hero, portraying fans' favorite characters and regularly showing an unabashed affection for traditionally geeky fare such as "The Witcher" games and "Warhammer." However, since news broke that Cavill would not be returning as Superman in DC's cinematic universe, plenty of fans have voiced their frustration. 

"[Cavill] seems to embody so much of what Superman stands for..." wrote Richsii on a thread in the r/movies subreddit, "...it's such a f***ing bummer he never got to be in a great 'Superman' film." Other commenters also chimed in from across the internet. "F***ing tragic," summarized zackphoenix123. "He's one of the most passionate actors I've seen in a long time, especially when it comes to larger than life fictional characters, but its almost like he gets kicked around for it, big bummer."

TazGover1 also seemed to have worries about how the "Superman" shakeup would affect Cavill's future, Tweeting, "Just heard this what the hell i feel bad for his career was looking bright right up till now he was a great Superman you will be missed." But alongside all this fan sorrow and negativity, others weren't as pessimistic about the actor's post-DC future.

Others say Cavill's future remains bright, despite his exit

While some have been flipping their lid, others are looking at the situation from a different perspective. One user on r/movies praised how Henry Cavill handled his "Superman" exit, feeling as though the grace shown through the ordeal would ultimately serve his image and his career well.

"I love Henry Cavill," wrote another commenter, AwakeAtNights, "and I KNOW he could portray a great Superman, he just didn't get the chance to because of how his Superman was written ...which he had no creative control over. But at least he's gonna still keep getting work." It's an important distinction to make, as Cavill's wasn't in control over DC's vision for the character. Even if the Snyder-era films proved a miss compared the ever-popular MCU, its hard to deny that Cavill gave the character absolutely everything he could — and as result, the actor has amassed a uniquely engaged base of supporters.

While it's certainly heartbreaking for Cavill fans to say goodbye to the character so abruptly, it may lead to a more coherent and satisfying DC cinematic universe. Perhaps, to reach this end, recasting Superman is the right choice. For better or for worse, fans have finally witnessed the last gasp of the Snyderverse — but Cavill became a casualty in the process.