Henry Cavill was first cast as the DCEU’s Superman nine years ago, but despite playing the role for much longer than Christopher Reeve, he’s headlined exactly the same number of solo movies as Brandon Routh. After all, Warner Bros. have never seemed to have much interest in a Man of Steel sequel, even though Zack Snyder’s reboot was responsible for launching the studio’s entire shared universe.
Cavill’s Kryptonian was instantly relegated to second billing behind Ben Affleck in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, and his lasting contribution to the theatrical edition of Justice League was the discourse surrounding the movie’s abject failure in convincingly removing his Mission: Impossible – Fallout mustache. The Snyder Cut will right some of those wrongs, but three live-action appearances in almost a decade is hardly a great return in the era of multi-picture contracts.
Superman has shown up in four movies since 1987, but by the time The Flash arrives in November 2022, it’ll mark Batman’s twelfth big screen outing in the same time frame, making it pretty clear who WB’s favorite costumed crimefighter is. Of course, things might’ve been different had Will Smith, who was once offered the role, not turned it down, and you can check out how he could’ve looked as the DCEU’s Big Blue Boy Scout via some new fan art from ApexForm below.
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Smith knocked back Superman Returns because he didn’t think audiences would be willing to embrace a black Superman at the time, so the decision was made to craft a reverential nod towards Richard Donner’s classic original instead. Michael B. Jordan was recently linked to the part when Cavill’s future was being heavily debated, though, so maybe one day soon we’ll finally see a completely different spin on the iconic comic book character.