So, there’s word that Henry Cavill might be out as the Superman of the DCEU (DC comics extended universe, pretty much their “cinematic” universe but maybe they didn’t want to add an extra C to the acronym). Cavill of course took up the role in 2013’s “Man of Steel”, the first entry in that universe, which now features Batman V Superman, Wonder Woman, Justice League and Suicide Squad, along with the upcoming Wonder Woman 1984, Shazam and Aquaman. However, despite Wonder Woman becoming a big hit, the other films haven’t quite had the same level of success, with films such as a solo Ben Affleck Batman film and a Flash movie suffering production setbacks and rumors of recasting. While the Nolan Batman films were of course a huge success, DC has since fallen badly behind Marvel filmwise, especially with pretty much every Marvel film these days becoming a huge hit.
Amidst this is the rumor that Henry Cavill might be departing the role. (Cavill himself replaced Brandon Routh, although 2005’s “Superman Returns” was intended as a sequel of sorts to the Christopher Reeve movies and not part of any cinematic universe, not even connected to then running Nolan Batman films). It’s a bit unclear why at this point, although Cavill was recently cast in the Witcher Netflix TV show, and reportedly declined an appearance in the upcoming Shazam.
As for me, while Cavill’s a capable enough actor, I never really warmed to his Superman. Maybe it’s because the films he’s been in were in general kind of angsty/dark at times, with his Superman overall seeming moody, if still, for the most part, aligned to Superman’s values. I kind of preferred the charisma and optimism of Reeve’s Superman (Sure, he had one or two moments of angst here and there, such as when Lois “died” or his power loss in the second film, but overall he seemed like a cool guy). This is kind of reflected for the most part in the comics too (Although the “New 52” Superman wasn’t exactly my cup of tea-or DC’s really, as in 2016 they scrapped/merged the character with his 1986-2011 counterpart, who was married to Lois and had a son). Although parts of “Justice League” did attempt to soften him up towards the end (and even gave him Reeve’s classic John Williams theme), still not a big fan.
The weird mustache-covering CGI didn’t help either.
But with Cavill’s potential exit, who could pick up the cape?
Jon Hamm-famous from Mad Men-has often been a fan favorite, although at 47 he’s somewhat much older than Cavill. He’s also rumored to be up for the role of Batman, which would probably actually suit his acting talents a bit better (as well as his age-he’s only one year older than Ben Affleck).
Daniel Bruhl perhaps? He sort of bears a slight resemblance to both Cavill and a big resemblance to Christopher Reeve IMO. Doesn’t quite have the lantern jaw look though. Although he was Zemo in Civil War, it’s important to remember that starring in the competitions film doesn’t exactly disqualify you from a role. Laurence Fishburne, for example, who plays Lois and Clark Kent’s boss at the Daily Planet, Perry White, in the DCEU, and also Bill Foster in the recent Ant-Man and the Wasp. Also, JK Simmons from the Sony Spider-Man series became Justice League’s commissioner Gordon.
There’s also Tyler Koechin, who plays Superman in the Supergirl TV show (and by extension, it’s connected shows). However, although TV-to-movie/vise versa castings are not uncommon-Reeve, Kidder, and O’ Teele were all part of Smallville for instance-it would probably confuse audiences, especially with a show running at the same time.
Zachary Quinto’s a name that’s come up a few times, although with the current issues the Star Trek movie series is experiencing (Perhaps, in part to the DCEU itself-as Chris Pine is mysteriously back in Wonder Woman 1984), it probably won’t happen.
Joseph Gordon Levitt’s also a name that’s popped up a few times. DC fans of course know him from Dark Knight Rises as John “Robin” Blake.
John Krakinski’s largely reinvented himself as an action star these days, and seems to have the right build and look for the role IMO. Although I think he’d be better as Marvel’s Mr. Fantastic.
Anyway, I hope they make a decent choice, if indeed it’s official that Cavill is stepping away. Hopefully we don’t end up with something like this….which we almost did. (I don’t mind Cage, but as Superman? Just…no).