One of the most embattled properties in popular culture today is that of the DC Universe films. While it started on a fairly positive note with “Man of Steel” in 2013, they’ve struggled mightily since that film. “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” became a critical punching bag. “Justice League” followed suit. Despite the success of “Wonder Woman,” things have seemed to be trending in the wrong direction for DC. Amid rumors of Ben Affleck‘s departure from the franchise, it sounds like he may be joined by Henry Cavill on his way out the door.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, DC and Cavill were in talks for a cameo in “Shazam!,” the upcoming April release. However, talks broke down to the point that Cavill may exit the franchise. DC apparently shifted its focus to a “Supergirl” movie, putting “Superman” on the backburner. Without any dates for a “Justice League 2,” there does not seem to be much reason for Cavill to stay within the universe for the foreseeable future. One source was quoted by The Hollywood Reporter saying the following:
“Superman is like James Bond, and after a certain run you have to look at new actors.”
The DC Universe has been struggling to find critical support for their films over the past five years. However, it’s clearly not just the critics that are asking for a change from the DCEU. While some very vocal stans of the franchise continue to call for the likely non-existent “Snyder Cut” of “Justice League,” audiences stayed away. It only brought in $229 Million domestically, making it the lowest grossing film in the modern DCEU. For reference, “Avenger’s Infinity War” domestic gross outearned the worldwide gross of “Justice League” by more than $20 million.
Cavill recently grabbed a headlining role in the Netflix adaptation of “The Witcher, so if it comes to pass, he’s on to bigger and better things. However, his representative seems to say they’re not quite done yet.
Be peaceful, the cape is still in his closet. @wbpictures has been and continues to be our partners as they evolve the DC Universe. Anticipate a WB statement later today.
— Dany Garcia (@DanyGarciaCo) September 12, 2018
Warner Brothers released the following statement:
“While no decisions have been made regarding any upcoming Superman films, we’ve always had great respect for and a great relationship with Henry Cavill, and that remains unchanged.”
It’s a difficult time at the Warner Brothers and DC. If they have to start over with the DC Universe, do not expect the franchise to recover in the near future. Hopefully, “Shazam!” and “Wonder Woman 1984” can revive the franchise.