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– by Campbell Clark

Yesterday’s news was dominated by a story from THR that Henry Cavill was out as Superman in the DCEU. I think it would be fair to say that fans worldwide were collectively face-palming at this potential news. Of course, after the news broke there was a statement from Cavill’s agent that said the news was false and that Cavill had not parted ways with the DCEU. Confused? Yeah, so are we.

RELATED: BREAKING: Henry Cavill Is OUT As Superman In The DCEU!

Then to further confuse matters Henry Cavill posted a video on Instagram which…Well, it didn’t clear anything up, to be honest, have a look for yourself.

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Today was exciting #Superman

A post shared by Henry Cavill (@henrycavill) on

And as if that was not enough, THR then released an update to their original story to clarify that it was not Cavill that left the role, but WB that decided to go in a different direction.

Oh, and did you hear the rumor that WB was looking at Michael B. Jordan to play Superman going forward? I am sure you can fathom how well that story was received across the fan community. Hint: not very well. Though some of the LRM team think it’s worth exploring a race change for Superman, I am pretty strongly against the idea.

RELATED: RUMOR: Michael B. Jordan Being Considered For Superman In Wake Of Henry Cavill’s Departure

So what the is actually going on?

In my opinion, with this story, I am going to use the old phrase where there’s smoke, there’s fire. As soon as I heard the news break, I told my colleagues here at LRM that I had been expecting something like this as soon as Cavill was signed on to play Geralt in Netflix’s The Witcher. For a start that seems like a heavy commitment and it likely means (as we have heard) that WB has no plans to use Cavill’s Superman in anything currently on their slate — at least not in the foreseeable future.

Before we get to what all this means for the DCEU, I want to take a minute to talk about Cavill as Superman. For me there has never been a better actor anywhere for playing the role of Kal-El. As our own Nick (Dollface) said, ” how is WB going to have the time to genetically engineer another perfect Superman actor?” I think this sentiment, whilst a joke, echo’s my thoughts. Cavill looks the part as Superman so much, that I cannot imagine anyone else playing the role, it’s like he really was genetically engineered to play Superman. Sure, I have heard fans complain about his range as an actor, but let’s face it, Cavill could only work within the scripts he was given. I’d also argue that anyone who plays Superman doesn’t have to be a Marlon Brando level actor. It’s not the toughest acting role and has never been this way in any TV or Film adaptations so far.

If there is even a chance of WB sticking with Cavill, then in my opinion they should take it, you will never come across an actor more perfect for a part than Cavill is for Superman, and that’s from someone who doesn’t think he’s that great a choice to play Geralt in The Witcher. WB, if you need to take a break from Superman for a while, go for it, but do not let Cavill move on so easily I implore you. This is a classic WB crazy decision if it turns out to be true.

So what’s next for the DCEU?

Here’s the thing, I genuinely have no idea what they are planning here. It would blow my mind at this point if we do not find out soon that Affleck is out as Batman. There have been so many rumors around Affleck since even before Justice League hit theaters that to have him suddenly appear in Matt Reeves’ The Batman seems highly unlikely.  In fact, I predict that Affleck will be announced as leaving the role of Batman by the end of this year. So is there even a cinematic universe any more or is this just scrapped completely?

Completely scrapping the shared universe seems unlikely given that Shazam! exists in that universe, as do Aquaman and WW 1984. So if they are carrying on with those, why would they replace Cavill and Affleck in the two biggest roles of the Justice League? Is WB blaming these actors for the poor success of Batman V Superman and Justice League? If that is the case, then WB really is in trouble, because the casting has had nothing to do with why their movies are not making as much money as they’d like. For a start, they rushed their universe to try and play catch up with Marvel. I know some fans disagree and say they were trying “something different,” but I don’t buy that. I see a studio that analysed the early MCU and wanted to get to Avengers before they bothered with all the setup. “Avengers is where the MCU really blew up, let’s just skip the rest and get straight to Justice League,” would be a conversation to have gone down at some point I’m imagining.

I feel any blame for the DCEU’s perceived failure at this point lies solely with the decision makers at WB, so why are they even thinking about getting rid of Cavill? The DCEU hasn’t been great, but they can resolve this by just starting to really plan out better stories and film them one at a time. The idea of scrapping the shared universe and just making standalone films has been raised by many fans and critics, but for me, that causes a huge issue with continuing anything involving Aquaman, Wonder Woman and possibly even Shazam. All of these properties already exist in a shared universe, therefore the events of BvS and Justice League are canon to those movies.

It’s a real mess and replacing the roles of Batman and Superman just seems to further compound the issues here rather than fix anything. It really shouldn’t be that hard to make successful Justice League movies, after all. I think no matter what anyone does or wants, Affleck is going to leave, so fair enough, they have to replace Batman, but they should not be letting Cavill go. Maybe they should start listening to the fans for once, if they can get their finger on the pulse of what fans would like to see, then it can only help them to improve the movies as a whole.

Right now I fear that the whole thing is just going to crash and burn, forcing WB to shelve all DC plans and start again in a few years, and that’ not a good idea as far as I am concerned. Is it too much to ask for WB to just copy Marvel’s initial formula and build up their characters to the point where we are excited to see them team up together? Give us a Man of Steel 2, to coincide with The Batman and build these worlds properly before your thrust these two together again.

I don’t have all the answers, and probably neither do you, but we want to hear your opinions on the DCEU. Where do they go from here and how do they salvage this franchise, with or without Cavill and Affleck? Tell us what WB should do in the comments below.

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SOURCE: Various (linked above)