The recent announcement that Henry Cavill will be returning as Superman has been met with much enthusiasm from fans of the Man of Steel. However, whilst everyone pulls their red cape out of the closet, runs outside, and thrusts their hands into the air in an attempt to defy gravity, further rumors suggest that Cavill's role will perhaps not be as substantial as some might be hoping for. Since the initial news, sources have said that Cavill's return as Superman will be more akin to how Mark Ruffalo's Bruce Banner/The Hulk is used in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, rather than the DC icon being given his own standalone adventure.

Unlike the feature film rights red-tape that has kept Disney and Marvel from making a solo Hulk movie, DC does own the feature film rights to Superman outright. Despite this, the alleged plan is to have Cavill's Superman appear throughout other DC movies in both supporting roles and cameo appearances.

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Mark Ruffalo made his first appearance as Bruce Banner/Hulk in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2012's The Avengers, taking over the part from Edward Norton. His role in the movie was integral to the plot, and he played a major part in the plot of the villainous Loki. Banner also acted as an avatar for the audience as he bore witness to all of the awe-inspiring superhero and S.H.I.E.L.D. technology and goings-on. During the movie's epic finale, Banner/Hulk arrives to carry out one of the most crowd-pleasing moments in the MCU history, turning the tide on the invading Chitauri.

Since then, Hulk has been involved in every Avengers movie, played a large role in Thor: Ragnarok, and appeared in a post-credits scene cameo for Iron Man 3. Thanks in large part to Ruffalo's charming performance, the character has become a staple of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in spite of never having his own movie.

Cavill's version of Superman has already cameoed in another hero's adventure, though it was not Henry Cavill in the suit, with the Man of Tomorrow appearing very briefly at the end of last year's Shazam!. There also some similarities between Superman and Hulk in terms of their ability to show up and save the day thanks to their sheer power levels. Other than that though, the characters could not be more different. Warner Bros' plan is likely to have the Man of Steel looming over the universe like the all-powerful God that he is. Something more akin to the presence of Smart Hulk in Avengers: Endgame as opposed to the fish out of water appearances of Bruce Banner.

This addition to the news that Cavill will return, but not for Man of Steel 2, is likely to disappoint many fans but, at least we will once again see the actor suit up. It is also entirely possible that the studio is watching to see how popular Cavill's Superman is before moving forward with a standalone story. The news of Henry Cavill's comeback came courtesy of Deadline.

Jon Fuge at Movieweb
Jon Fuge