Ahead of the announcement of the slate of DCU's Chapter 1, Gunn already confirmed that Henry Cavill would no longer return as Superman in the rebooted franchise. Instead, the new Kryptonian hero will be played by a younger actor.
This announcement led to emotional tributes from Cavill's DC co-stars, such as Jason Momoa and Zachary Levi on social media. In addition, it also led to confusion, mainly because of past reports that Man of Steel 2 is being developed.
James Gunn Reacts to Man of Steel 2 Fan Confusion
In one of his latest Instagram stories, DC Studios co-CEO James Gunn reacted to a headline claiming that Creatures Commandos, one of the studios' first DCU projects now in production, was being 'fast-tracked.' Gunn clarified that Creature Commandos - and also Superman: Legacy - were both in development before he and Peter Safran took over as the studio's chiefs in October 2022:
“Not THAT fast-tracked really since [Creature Commandos] and Superman: Legacy were both in development before we took over as DCU Studio's Chiefs.”
Henry Cavill returned on screen as Superman in October's Black Adam during a time when Warner Bros. was also developing a Cavill-led Man of Steel sequel.
So was Man of Steel 2 a separate project from Gunn's own Superman: Legacy? Yes, according to the current studio exec, who stated on Twitter that Legacy "was always a separate project" when asked if it had any connection to Cavill's Superman sequel, which is now completely scrapped.
Another fan pointed out how previous assumptions could've led to confusion among the fanbase, to which Gunn noted that he was hired to write Superman: Legacy "over six months ago."
This confirms that Gunn was developing his Superman movie before Henry Cavill reportedly filmed his cameo for Black Adam in September.
Did DC Studios Blindside Henry Cavill?
The DCU needs a fresh start, and it relies on the success of Superman: Legacy. Some have mentioned that the upcoming Superman reboot is the franchise's most important movie yet, considering that it would serve as its anchor moving forward.
Still, learning that James Gunn was developing his Superman movie before Henry Cavill's cameo in Black Adam is unfortunate for the actor.
It appears clear then that Cavill knows there are plans for Man of Steel 2 due to his heartfelt announcement regarding his return. Whether Warner Bros. and DC executives blindsided him by not making him aware of the reboot is unknown.
It remains to be seen if Cavill will return as a new character in Gunn and Safran's DCU, but this new development may suggest that an option for a comeback could not be in the cards for the actor, especially after this latest reveal.
Superman: Legacy is set to premiere on July 11, 2025.