There are few more divisive movies among all of fandom than Zack Snyder’s three DC movie efforts Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Justice League (either version). While the filmmaker certainly delivered a singular vision for a particular version of what has come to be known as the DCEU should look and feel like, it lacked a universal appeal among both fans and critics, and the box office for all three films reflected that. What Warner Bros. had hoped was the beginning of a shared cinematic universe to rival Marvel Studios with Man of Steel almost a decade ago led to the rushed team-building exercise of Batman v Superman, and ultimately a version of Justice League that absolutely nobody was happy with, from ticket buyers to critics to executives.
But one thing everyone can agree on? None of that was star Henry Cavill’s fault. Hell, other than Ben Affleck as Batman (another great actor and performance lost in a miasma of questionable filmmaking choices and behind-the-scenes drama), it’s tough to imagine another superhero actor who got a more raw deal than Cavill in recent years.
Never mind the fact that Cavill looked like he stepped off a comic page, or that he seems like he could have been sculpted from a chunk of the Fortress of Solitude itself, he gave an utterly sincere Superman performance, with an underlying warmth that belied the grim tone of the films he’s starred in. He’s even been gracious enough, even after the critical ravaging and box office underperformance of Justice League, to say all the right things when it came to the possibility of putting on the cape again. The guy has been the equivalent of the star player whose team is never able to win around him, whose fans gave him hell, and who still writes a gracious open letter to fans about their “passion” when he departs for another team in free agency.
Warner Bros. is certainly under no illusions about how important Superman is (or should be) to their cinematic strategy, but according to a new report in THR, outgoing WB exec Walter Hamada had been the one blocking the prospect of Cavill returning to the role. However, that same report indicates that the studio now “has an intense desire to reprise the Cavill iteration of the hero” and that a “project that would essentially be Man of Steel 2” has a producer (Charles Roven) and is in search of writers.
What’s interesting is that this comes as part of a report that indicates The Suicide Squad and Peacemaker helmer James Gunn has pitched two secret DC projects to the studio. While he isn’t named as a potential director for Man of Steel 2 in that THR report, it should be noted that he has flirted with the character more than once, having been offered Superman when Warner Bros. first brought him over from Marvel Studios and again when he considered making the Last Son of Krypton the main threat in The Suicide Squad.
However, the studio is said to be looking for writers, and none other than Christopher McQuarrie (the writer and director of two of the best Mission: Impossible movies in Rogue Nation and Fallout, not to mention the next two) is on their wish list. McQuarrie has his own history with DC and Superman, having pitched both a Man of Steel 2 and a Green Lantern Corps movie a few years back Given the fact that he’ll be tied up with Mission: Impossible movies at Paramount for the next few years, it seems McQuarrie could write or direct a DC flick any time soon, let alone this Superman sequel, but we can dream. Maybe when the time comes, he’ll be available to make that Green Lantern Corps flick.
As for Cavill’s Superman? Well, it sure looks like we’ll be seeing more of him soon, one way or the other.