It doesn’t take much of a spark to set the internet on fire. News broke that Henry Cavill, Superman, was on the outs with WB. Rumors flew, vague statements were released, and still the future for Cavill as the Big Blue Boyscout is uncertain. The rumors and speculations don’t stop with Cavill and Superman, other DC properties and franchises were dragged into the conversation, as well as reports of other actors. But who said what? What can be confirmed? Who would be the most likely replacement for Cavill and/or his Superman? Spoilers: No one you would expect.
Everything started over the course of 24 hours when it was reported that Henry Cavill accepted the role of Geralt in Netflix’s The Witcher series. That alone might not have been enough to start rumors, but then news broke that Cavill turned down a cameo in Shazam, allegedly over money. Cavill believes he isn’t getting paid enough for his role as Superman. That puts future Superman appearances and films into question; if Cavill and the WB are having issues negotiating over money, and Cavill is accepting other roles, what does that mean for the future of Superman?
Factor in the announcement that WB is eyeing a Supergirl movie franchise, and you have the perfect fuel to the fire – a Super-replacement for Superman. The rumor started that the WB would focus on Supergirl and let Superman fade into the background. There’s no proof of that. In all reality, if there’s no movie lined up, negotiations are still ongoing, then there’s no conflict for Cavill to do The Witcher, which has its own drama going on. It’s rumored that Netflix is looking for a BAME(black, Asian, and minority ethnic) actress to play Ciri, Geralt’s adoptive daughter. “Fans” of the show claim it is disrespectful to cast a person of color in a role that has significant cultural meaning to the Polish. The Witcher is one of the few cultural exports from the country. But the argument doesn’t hold much water. Not only is the casting call a rumor, but Cavill isn’t Polish either. He’s British. If you’re going to nitpick…
Then came the rumors that WB was eyeing Michael B. Jordan as a replacement for Cavill. Let’s unpack that a bit. Would Jordan make a good Superman/Clark Kent? It’s arguable that Jordan would make an even better Kent than Cavill did. He’d be as good of a Superman, until Justice League, the role didn’t require much of a stretch in acting for Cavill. Cavill did a wonderful job, but the latest incarnation of Superman rarely called for huge acting chops. Then, of course, there’s the idea that Jordan could play Kalel, Calvin Ellis, Earth-23 Superman, who is black. Not a necessity, but not an impossible idea. Still, as much as Jordan may or may not want the role, with all the drama and turmoil WB/DC has had over their movies, it’s not likely a great move for Jordan. Stepping in to replace Cavill, even as a ‘black Superman‘ would cause more drama than its worth. It would definitely feel like a step back from his role as Killmonger in Marvel Studios’ Black Panther. To go from such an original performance to fill the shoes of someone else seems like a poor career decision.
Then came the responses from Cavill’s agent and Cavill himself.
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
“The cape is still in his closet”. That makes it sound like there’s at least the option of Cavill returning, perhaps negotiations are still ongoing, or WB/DC have decided to let the character rest before bringing him back to the big screen, letting Shazam, Aquaman, Wonder Woman ’84, and the much-rumored Flash movie shine.
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“Today was exciting”. That could mean so many different things. But wearing a Superman-themed shirt, proudly showing off his Superman action figure(it’s a doll!), and looking hopeful, Cavill gives the impression that he’s sticking around as The Man of Steel. Perhaps the rumors were fake, designed to put pressure on the WB to cave and give Cavill what he wants. Fans will have to wait and see. A lot of the internet has cried out for Cavill to move to the MCU as Captain Britain. It’d be a great role for him…
What didn’t help the rumor mill was Ben Affleck checking himself into rehab for the third time for his alcoholism. To be clear, that’s not a criticism on Affleck. He needs to do what he needs to do to get help. Unfortunately, it also means that there’s a possibility that insuring him for a Batman movie might be a bit more costly than it has been. It presents him as a risk. Which means the WB and Affleck might be going separate ways.
Jon Hamm of Mad Men fame recently mentioned he’d love to play Batman, though he hasn’t had a single conversation with anyone about it, despite having been in the room talking to many of the people who would have the power to make him an offer were they interested. Hamm is a self-confessed comic book fan since childhood, claiming to be knowledgeable about many a superhero.
So what’s concrete about all of this? The only thing you can be sure of is that the WB and the DC properties can’t seem to shake the drama. Directors, actors, CGI, it all gives the appearance of a madhouse. But until someone steps out to confirm any of it, the news of the last week is just rumors and hearsay. As of right now, Cavill is still Superman, Affleck is still Batman, Jordan and Hamm will have to wait for their turns. Supergirl may see the big screen, but there’s no plan for her to replace her cousin as the flagship superhero for the DCEU.
What do you think? Would Jordan make a good replacement for Cavill, or should he be his own Superman? Would Hamm make a good replacement for Affleck? Why does the DCEU seem to have so much more drama the MCU, considering the MCU has more actors, directors, and franchise to juggle? Let us know in the comments below, or hit us up on Facebook or Twitter!