Superman is an all-powerful being with only two known weaknesses: kryptonite, and behind-the-scenes Hollywood dysfunction. But Henry Cavill’s Man of Steel, who hasn’t been seen since 2017’s Justice League (the 2021 Snyder Cut notwithstanding), may have found a way to survive Hollywood’s kryptonite. A piece in The Hollywood Reporter reports that higher-ups at the newly-reorganized Warner Bros. Discovery are interested in Cavill resuming his Superman duties in a film “that would essentially be Man of Steel 2.” And you can partly credit this resurrection to the persuasive star power of Dwayne Johnson, star of the upcoming DC film, Black Adam.
During his sisyphean press run for Black Adam, Johnson made news by stating that he intended for there to be a future showdown between his anti-hero character and Superman, telling CinemaBlend, “That is the whole point of this, man.” According to David Faraci on the Marvelvision podcast, Johnson was adamant that Cavill make a cameo in Black Adam to tease this dream match-up, and THR reports that the outgoing DC Films head, Walter Hamada, had been firmly against it. But Johnson petitioned other Warner Bros. Pictures executives, and the scene was ultimately shot in September, just a few weeks before Black Adam’s October 21 release date. (Hamada, who has been with DC Films since 2018, is poised to leave the company following the release of Black Adam.)
Hamada had had other plans for Superman. Last spring, The Hollywood Reporter reported that the exec was looking to hire a Black director and Black lead to play the role, with a script penned by acclaimed writer Ta-Nehisi Coates, and J.J. Abrams producing. That would have effectively meant the end for Cavill’s take on the character. But since that update, there has been little news on this project, which kept the possibility alive that Cavill might still return.
Elsewhere in the piece, THR reported that James Gunn is also talking to Warner about new film projects, though the exact characters are unclear. Matt Reeves, who directed 2022’s successful Batman entry with Robert Pattinson, is working on building an expanded cinematic universe around the character’s many antagonists like the Scarecrow. Under new leadership, it seems that DC is focused on producing as many movies and shows as possible, with Warner Bros. Pictures leaders Pam Abdy and Michael De Luca at the helm. Gone are the days when one director (Zack Snyder) decided the entire creative direction of the DCEU: Now different directors and producers are being handed different branches of the universe. But will they all eventually get their own Cuts?