As fans commemorate actor Henry Cavill’s 39th birthday, the celebration turns to his role as Superman in the DCEU. Cavill first starred as the iconic DC character in 2013’s Man of Steel from director Zack Snyder, which served as the launching point of Warner Bros.’ current DC slate of films. The actor went on to portray Superman/Kal-El/Clark Kent in Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, released in 2016. The film became a global box office success but wasn’t quite the critical hit that the studio wanted. Snyder directed the follow-up, Justice League, which hit a snag when the director left the project due to a family tragedy and studio conflicts, leading to Joss Whedon taking over and reshaping the film for theatrical release.
Snyder’s cut of Justice League was eventually finished and released on HBO Max in 2021, giving Cavill’s Superman another chance to shine, particularly in the black-and-silver costume that was originally intended. Cavill was initially expected to cameo in 2019’s Shazam! with Zachary Levi, but the deal never came to fruition. Since that time, the actor has yet to reappear as Superman in any DCEU project, leaving the actor’s involvement in the role up in the air, while multiple Superman projects continue to be developed without him, including a reboot with a Black Superman with JJ Abrams and Ta-Nehisi Coates on board, as well as an adaptation of the Val-Zod version of Superman with Michael B. Jordan.
Cavill’s birthday on May 5th became a trend on Twitter, eventually leading to a celebration of his Superman role with both #HenryCavill and #HenryCavillSuperman trending on the social media platform. Fans tweeted their support and love for the actor’s portrayal of the character as much as they did in the celebration of his actual birthday. Many fans reacted with images, gifs, and videos of Cavill as Superman from his appearances as the beloved character, citing that he is “THE” Superman in the DCEU, while simultaneously calling for his return to the role. Check out some of the reactions below:
Last month, Discovery closed a $43 billion merger with Warner Bros., which has led to a number of changes and shake-ups for the DC slate with the studio. There have also been several release date shifts and cancelations of other projects, including the Wonder Twins movie, as well as The CW’s Batwoman and Legends of Tomorrow. While WB/Discovery explores an overhaul of their DC slate, one of the key topics of discussion includes the revitalization of “top-shelf characters” such as Superman, who they believe have been “left to languish” in the years since Man of Steel was released.
Calls for Cavill to return to the role of Superman have been consistent ever since the theatrical release of Justice League, which was a major flop for the studio, due largely to their own restructuring of the film. The release of Zack Snyder’s Justice League last year has rallied the calls for Cavill to return, with many saying the actor is due a proper Man of Steel sequel. There’s been a lot of speculation as to why Cavill hasn’t returned as Superman, which has continued to frustrate fans who have yearned to see him back in the cape. While Cavill has moved on to The Witcher franchise and is due to take on a reboot of Highlander, he’s expressed nothing but love for Superman and has repeatedly said “the cape is still in the closet.” Hopefully, WB/Discovery will have him take it out and take to the screen again before it’s too late, as Cavill has continued to prove that fans want nothing more than to see him fly again as Superman.