Warner Bros. is still working to rebuild stability within the DC Extended Universe while continuing to bring new stories into the equation. Part of the difficulty is that these new entries don't appear to include Henry Cavill's Superman, a character that should be much more prominent in DC's overarching story than what's been seen thus far.
To date, Cavill's Man of Steel has appeared in one solo movie and two team-up outings, and he returned to the role most recently for Zack Snyder's Justice League in 2021. However, he hasn't been seen in a canon DCEU outing since 2017, and it's not because he hasn't been available; stand-ins were used for Superman's inclusions in 2018's Shazam! and 2021's Peacemaker series.
Most recently, during test screenings for next year's The Flash, rumors surfaced that Cavill was quickly on his way to being replaced as the DCEU's Clark Kent/Kal-El. Now, as Warner Bros. looks to potentially change its strategy for the DCEU as a whole, new rumors spell a disappointing future for Cavill with arguably his most iconic role to date.
Henry Cavill's Superman...No More?
According to a report from Rolling Stone, Warner Bros. made plans to move in a different direction for the DC Extended Universe, specifically with Henry Cavill's Superman.
After 2017's Justice League became such a critical and financial disappointment, the studio reconsidered the decision to continue with Zack Snyder's darker take on the DC franchise. This included the idea to move in a new direction with Superman and Batman, and Warner Bros. made plans for Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck to be replaced as Superman and Batman, respectively.
In a way, Robert Pattinson's Batman has replaced Ben Affleck's take on the titular hero, on top of Michael Keaton's 1989 hero making a return. There were no specifics provided about who may replace Cavill's Superman.
Warner Bros. Avoiding Cavill's Superman in DCEU
Even for the widely mixed reactions fans had for Zack Snyder's work in the DCEU, one of the most commonly praised decisions from the series was Henry Cavill's interpretation of Superman. He brought a take on Clark Kent that seemed to resonate with a vast majority of DC fans - including those who weren't pleased with Snyder's work - and he was regularly one of the highlights of the movies in which he appeared.
From a subjective standpoint, it seems that Warner Bros. is making a questionable decision by moving forward without Superman, who is undoubtedly one of the most popular heroes in DC's entire catalog. Despite how disappointing Justice League was at the box office, Man of Steel topped it with over $660 million in revenue, and it earned some of the best reviews of any DCEU movie to date.
How Warner Bros. plans to replace Cavill is a mystery, be it through introducing a brand-new Superman or focusing on another character altogether. There are already plans to introduce Val Zod in a film featuring Michael B. Jordan as a producer, and Sasha Calle's Supergirl will make her DCEU debut in next year's The Flash; her outfit has even been confirmed to look similar to Cavill's.
However the company moves forward, it's unfortunate that Cavill may have donned his Kryptonian garb for the last time in the Snyder Cut last year. Nothing definitive has been announced about his character yet, but if this rumor turns out to be true, there is sure to be a Krypton-sized hole in the overall narrative being developed.