A ton of news regarding the future of DC Studios and the DC Universe dropped today as co-CEOs James Gunn and Peter Safran announced plans for a new Superman movie, HBO Max programs centered around Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) and the Green Lantern Corp., and a slew of updates for Batman. Reading between the lines on the major slate of new projects, however, was confirmation the actors who were part of the DCEU, and linked to projects in Zack Snyder’s interpretation of the world, no longer will be featured in these DC movies. Gunn and Safran confirmed that the upcoming film The Flash will reset the DCU as we know it, and that Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck no longer are needed as Superman and Batman, respectively.
Now, we knew this. Henry Cavill learned that he would be removed from the role of Superman, despite the fact that he was teased in the post-credit scene from Black Adam, and even was allowed to make a video telling fans that he was back, and excited to continue telling stories as the superhero. Except, that was never going to happen. What an unfortunate case of miscommunication. And the broken game of telephone only continued as news circulated that Cavill had actually been fired from the gig. Now, though, James Gunn made sure to correct that mistake, as he told CinemaBlend during his exclusive DC presentation:
Also, it’s important to say that Henry Cavill was not fired. Henry was just not hired to be Superman. There was never a deal there for another movie. That's not what it was.
You can argue that it’s semantics. James Gunn wanted to clarify that he and Peter Safran didn’t fire Henry Cavill from the Superman gig. In their minds, he was never in contention for the role, because they have a different version of the character in mind for the movie they plan to release in July 2025, titled Superman: Legacy. And no matter how they phrase it, the bottom line is that Cavill is not playing Superman in upcoming stage of DCU movies.
But by stating that they didn’t fire Cavill, Gunn and Safran also make it abundantly clear that this decision to string Cavill along and make him think he actually had a shot at stepping back into the memorable tights falls at the feet of the former leadership team. Maybe they were afraid to tell The Rock no, as the action superstar was in full hype mode for Black Adam and the possibility of what was to come. But Black Adam isn’t mentioned in any of the upcoming DC movies, which really makes this scene so ridiculous and inconsequential.
The hope, now that DC Studios has new leadership, is that mistakes like this will be avoided. The right hand will talk to the left hand so that promises made will be delivered, very public miscommunications won’t happen, and Gunn won’t have to explain the difference between “fired” and “never hired.”