This morning, “Superman” was the number one trend on Twitter, and at least ten other related terms were trending, including “Man of Steel,” “Supes,” “Smallville,” “DC Universe” and “Warner Bros.” So, what’s going on with the Man Of Steel? Well, the Warner Brothers-owned DC Extended Universe of films has been in flux lately, to put it lightly. And Warner Brothers recently underwent a management change , leading to a rather big shake-up. But before we get to that, let’s talk about Henry Cavill.
Henry Cavill played Superman in three films: 2013’s Man Of Steel, 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and 2017’s Justice League. After that, things seemed to unravel, with Cavill reportedly refusing to cameo in 2019’s Shazam. According to reports, that led to Cavill and DC parting ways. Cavill moved on to a starring role in Netflix’s series The Witcher.
However, earlier this year, Cavill cameoed as Superman in Black Adam, and he announced to fans that he was “back as Superman.” He even said that there was “more to come.” Soon after that, he announced that he was leaving his role in The Witcher, with fans speculating that this was because he’d be occupied with Superman-related projects. That is no longer the case.
So, what changed? In October, Warner Brothers announced that James Gunn and film producer/manager Peter Safran would be taking over DC Studios. Gunn became a major player in Hollywood after the success of the 2014 MCU film Guardians of the Galaxy. Gunn directed and co-wrote the film. Unlike many of the prior Marvel films, the Guardians were not a household name, yet the film was a box office smash. Per Box Office Mojo, the film grossed over $770 million against a $170 million budget. 2017’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 grossed over $860 million against a $200 million budget.
In 2017, however, Gunn was fired when his offensive tweets from 2008 and 2009 (which he’d apologized for in the past) were surfaced by a website called The Daily Caller, leading to Disney firing him. Soon after, Warner Brothers hired him to direct the 2021 DC film The Suicide Squad. That film lost money, grossing $168 million against a $185 million budget. However, it led to Gunn show running the HBO Max spinoff, 2022’s massively popular (and NSFW) Peacemaker.
But Gunn directed both The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special on Disney+ and the upcoming The Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. That’s because, in 2019, Disney rehired Gunn. Per Deadline, “After the firing, Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn met with Gunn on multiple occasions to discuss the situation. Persuaded by Gunn’s public apology and his handling of the situation after, Horn decided to reverse course and reinstate Gunn. The social media messages were indefensible, but the filmmaker never did anything but blame himself for poor judgment… There were no reports that Gunn ever engaged in the behavior he lampooned.” However, Guardians Vol. 3 will be his last Marvel project, at least for the foreseeable future.
Gunn and Safran have been working on a plan for the next few years of DC films. Yesterday, both Gunn and Cavill announced that they had met and that Cavill won’t be playing Superman, at least not in the upcoming Superman film.