Warner Bros. has addressed recent reports that Henry Cavill will no longer be playing Superman. Sort of. The studio has released a statement following multiple reports citing that the actor is leaving the role behind following contract negotiations gone wrong. Before digging into what this all might mean, take a look at the statement for yourself, which reads as follows.
"While no decisions have been made regarding any upcoming Superman films, we've always had great respect for and a great relationship with Henry Cavill, and that remains unchanged."
There are a few things worth talking about with this statement. For one, if this was just some rumor floating around that had absolutely no credibility to it, Warner Bros. probably wouldn't bother releasing a statement at all. So the fact that they've said anything at all is telling. Now, as for what was said, it sort of smells like "we can neither confirm nor deny" fluffy junk that doesn't actually tell us much. They don't deliberately say that Henry Cavill is still definitely playing Superman again in the future. Only that their relationship is still great.
The other thing worth isolating here is that the studio confirms that there have been no decisions made for a future Superman movie as of yet. We've been hearing a bit about Man of Steel 2 possibly (finally) getting off the ground over the past year or so, but that doesn't appear to be the case. The initial report citing that Henry Cavill is walking away from the DC universe stated that a new Superman movie was a few years away at least, and that seems to gel with what Warner Bros. is saying here.
Overall, this is a fascinating situation. Henry Cavill is in the prime of his career and surely has a lot of projects on the table. He recently signed on to lead Netflix's The Witcher series adaptation, for one. It wouldn't seem to make a lot of sense for Cavill to wait around to suit up for another Superman movie while he could be doing any number of other big projects. Not to mention that Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League were all divisive. Cavill has yet to star in a downright beloved DC movie.
Then again, maybe he would like a shot to change that before hanging up the cape? The actor's manager, Dany Garcia, also released a statement on Twitter earlier today casting doubt on his departure from the role as well. For now, Warner Bros. is said to be focusing on getting a Supergirl movie off the ground, while they await the release of Aquaman, Shazam and Wonder Woman 1984 over the course of the next year and change. With those movies on the way, it's going to be tough for Warner Bros. to just hit the reset button on their DC universe, but in the wake of Justice League, they're making big changes. And that may or may not involve getting a new Man of Steel.