Henry Cavill will be keeping his cape tucked away in the closet after all, as the actor has announced he will not be returning to the Superman franchise.
The British actor had just confirmed in October that he would be officially reprising the role after making a surprise cameo in the end credits of anti-hero movie Black Adam, starring Dwayne Johnson.
However, just as quickly as he returned, Cavill is bowing out again with new DC Studios bosses James Gunn and Peter Safran making the bold decision to find a new Superman for the next instalments.
Sharing the news in an Instagram post, the 39-year-old actor explained: ‘I have just had a meeting with James Gunn and Peter Safran and it’s sad news, everyone. I will, after all, not be returning as Superman.
‘After being told by the studio to announce my return back in October, prior to their hire, this news isn’t the easiest, but that’s life.
‘The changing of the guard is something that happens. I respect that.’
Cavill went on to explain that Gunn and Safran have a new ‘universe to build’ after taking over as heads of the movie studio, but that he wished them and the team ‘the best of luck and the happiest of fortunes’.
He then turned his attention to the fans who have supported him, stating: ‘For those who have been by my side through the years we can mourn for a bit, but then we must remember…. Superman is still around.
‘Everything he stands for still exists, and the examples he sets for us are still there! My turn to wear the cape has passed, but what Superman stands for never will.’
He concluded optimistically: ‘It’s been a fun ride with you all, onwards and upwards.’
The Suicide Squad director Gunn, 56, also confirmed the news on Wednesday and explained that the next Superman movie will focus on Clark Kent’s younger years.
He wrote on Twitter: ‘Peter & I have a DC slate ready to go, which we couldn’t be more over-the-moon about; we’ll be able to share some exciting information about our first projects at the beginning of the new year.
‘Among those on the slate is Superman. In the initial stages, our story will be focusing on an earlier part of Superman’s life, so the character will not be played by Henry Cavill.
‘But we just had a great meeting with Henry and we’re big fans and we talked about a number of exciting possibilities to work together in the future.’
Earlier this week, Gunn was forced to deny suggestions he wasn’t a fan of Cavill.
Cavill was first cast as the iconic superhero in 2010 before making his screen debut as the character in 2013’s Man of Steel. In 2016, he starred in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice alongside Ben Affleck as his nemesis, and then again in 2017’s Justice League.
Naturally, fans and Cavill’s celebrity peers weren’t quite prepared for the news and reacted with a mix of emotion and support.
Shazam! actor Zachary Levi commented: ‘Hope to catch you in another universe, sir.’
Another friend wrote: ‘You are and will always be our Superman and you are, of course so much more. Here’s to the brilliance that lies before you.’
One fan said: ‘This is outrageous, it’s unfair! How can you be announced to come back as Superman and then NOT come back?’
A particularly upset follower slammed the recent decisions regarding other DC movies, and fumed: ‘I don’t understand what DC and the directors are thinking.. what next? Change Aquaman too? I heard Wonderwoman’s been cancelled too.. no offence but this is stupidity at its highest level.’
Others called for Cavill to return to hit TV series The Witcher, with one writing: ‘Please be the Witcher again . U make the show.’
Another agreed: ‘No Superman and no Witcher? This IS the dark timeline.’
Less than two months ago, Cavill appeared in a video to announce that he was returning as Superman following months of speculation.
He said: ‘I wanted to wait until the weekend was over before posting this because I wanted to give you all a chance to watch Black Adam, but now that plenty of you have, I wanted to make it official that I am back as Superman.’
‘The image you see in this post and what you saw in Black Adam are just a very small taste of things to come. There’s a lot to be thankful for and I’ll get to that in time but I wanted to thank you guys most of all, thank you for your support, thank you for your patience.
‘I promise it will be rewarded.’
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