Warner Bros. Actively Prevented Henry Cavill's Superman Return, Confirms DC Star

By Richard Nebens Updated:
Henry Cavill Superman Warner Bros

Warner Bros. Discovery is working diligently to get the DC Extended Universe back on track after a rollercoaster ride over almost the past decade. And unfortunately, much of that more recent past has been without one of the most important characters in the entire DC catalog - Henry Cavill's Superman.

Although he starred in the first two DCEU movies as the Man of Steel, Cavill hasn't been seen in canon since 2017's disastrous theatrical cut of Justice League, which doesn't include reshoots for 2021's Zack Snyder's Justice League on HBO Max. But since then he hasn't been called back to don the blue suit and red cape for another round of action - Warner Bros. has even gone so far as to use a stand-in for his character at the end of 2019's Shazam!.

While rumors have pointed to him being included in this year's Black Adam, fans are outraged over Superman's extended absence from the DCEU with no signs pointing to when he'll be a key player in the story again. And according to a recent rumor, viewers now know who was responsible for that decision being made.

Warner Bros. Held Back on Cavill's Superman

Dwayne Johnson, Superman

Speaking on the Black Adam press tour, Dwayne Johnson discussed the change in leadership at Warner Bros. Discovery.

Johnson noted that his main goal with Black Adam was that it "takes care of the fans," confirming how it took six full years to fully convince Warner Bros. and DC Films to bring back Henry Cavill's Superman back into the DC Extended Universe. Notably, Johnson indicated how the studios' old leadership "kept saying no" to Cavill's superheroic return; the studios' new regime is what allowed Black Adam to "usher in a new era in the DC Universe" and paint a bright future for Cavill's Superman:

"This serves not only Black Adam, but it serves the larger DC Universe. But man, more importantly than that, it takes care of the fans, and that’s what you want your lead foot to be. And yes, phone calls and meetings, but man, it was years…this was six years to get that done. I’m gonna say that again - six years, we first started talking about this, and they kept saying no. Now that leadership isn’t there anymore, because we usher in a new era in the DC Universe, and we usher out an old era."

Between 2018 and now, there have been four different chairpeople running the company: Kevin Tsujihara, Ann Sarnoff, Michael De Luca, and Pamela Abdy, the latter two of which are the current co-chairpersons as of April 2022. Based on Johnson's comments, the Warner Bros. "regime" under Tsujihara and Sarnoff didn't allow for Cavill's Superman to return, while De Luca and Abdy were part of the team who gave the OK.

Will The Rock Get Superman Back?

For a character/portrayal combination as widely popular as Henry Cavill's Superman, it seems to be a cinematic crime that he hasn't been seen for so long within the DCEU. Particularly with the actor wanting to play the role again in the future, there seems to be no good reason why Warner Bros. has kept Cavill out of the blue-and-red suit for such a long time.

Dwayne Johnson himself has lamented Warner Bros.' handling of Superman within the DCEU, putting it bluntly by saying that he's "been on the sidelines for too long." And as rumors point to the Man of Steel finally coming back in some form during Black Adam, it seems right that The Rock is the one to potentially make fans' wishes come true with regard to Superman.

For the time being, should Superman actually be included in any part of Black Adam, it will remain a mystery until the movie fully releases in a few days. but the anticipation of bringing Cavill's Clark Kent back in action already has fans waiting to see what actually comes to fruition.

Black Adam will debut in theaters on Friday, October 21.

- About The Author: Richard Nebens
Richard Nebens joined The Direct in March 2020, now serving as the site's Senior Writer and also working as an assistant editor and content creator. He started his journalism career as a hobby in 2019 and is passionate about sharing news and stories from the entertainment industry, especially comic book movies, comedy, and sci-fi. Richard looks to expand his knowledge about movies and TV every day, and he is eager to stay locked into the latest releases and breaking news at every opportunity.