After abandoning the initial plans to try and mimic the formula that had brought the Marvel Cinematic Universe such unprecedented success, the DCEU has evolved in its approach to become more of a reactionary franchise over the last couple of years.
Long gone are the days when ten interconnected blockbusters were announced on the same day in October 2014, with Warner Bros. and DC Films now waiting to see what works on a per-movie basis before firming up any plans. The studio had already rebooted and recast Batman, with Matt Reeves’ film months into shooting before Michael Keaton was announced to be returning in The Flash, which came two months before Ben Affleck was also added to the ensemble of the Scarlet Speedster’s solo debut.
Jared Leto’s Joker, meanwhile, was a very late addition to Zack Snyder’s Justice League, and WB were more than happy to hand James Gunn complete creative freedom to softly reboot the Suicide Squad despite the first installment raking in close to $750 million at the box office. The point is, the door is never truly closed on anyone or anything, and that’s especially true for Henry Cavill’s Superman.
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The actor is still under contract as the DCEU’s Kryptonian, although his opportunities appear to have been severely restricted by his new deal, which is reportedly for cameos only. However, insider Daniel Richtman offers the intel that several high ranking executives at the studio are still fighting for his return in a more meaningful capacity, even though J.J. Abrams and Ta Nehisi-Coates are reworking the Man of Steel from the ground up.
Of course, Cavill is contractually obligated to reprise the role at least once more unless Warner Bros. want to buy him out, but at the moment, we’ve got no idea where or when we’ll be seeing his Superman again.