The good news for Superman fans is that there are now two live-action projects in active development featuring the Big Blue Boy Scout, but the bad news for a lot of supporters is that Henry Cavill is involved in neither.
We keep hearing rumors that the DCEU’s canonical Kal-El is poised for an imminent return for either cameo appearances or that long-awaited Man of Steel sequel, and the actor still has at least one appearance left on his contract, but the fact Warner Bros. and DC Films are moving forward on both a feature film and HBO Max effort without him means that the chances are still as slim as they’ve been since the summer of 2013.
J.J. Abrams and Ta-Nehisi Coates are overseeing the movie, while Michael B. Jordan’s Outlier Society company are spearheading the streaming Superman, and the actor is also a potential candidate to star as Val-Zod. We’re now hearing from our sources – the same ones who told us Justice League Dark was heading to HBO Max long before it was confirmed – that Warner Bros. and DC Films are reportedly pushing for an R-rated take on the comic book icon.
While it isn’t clear whether it’ll be one of the two projects currently on the slate, if we were to guess, the HBO Max version would be the most likely to be slapped with an R. Streaming services get a lot more leeway when it comes to their content, and all it would realistically take to push Superman into adult-skewing territory is an increase in onscreen violence, visual blood and a smattering of profanity.
Of course, it’s not as if we’ll be hearing one of the world’s most famous superheroes touting truth, justice and the American f*cking way, but it could potentially result in a grittier and more graphic take on Superman than we’ve seen in the past.