BAD: Henry Cavill’s Superman Return… And Subsequent Departure

Henry Cavill as Superman in Man of Steel (2013)

21 October 2022 (return) & 14 December 2022 (departure)

We’ve touched on the idea that the DCU as a whole has faced various issues, but what about its Superman? Henry Cavill started the franchise in 2013 with his turn as Superman/Clark Kent in Man of Steel, going on to reprise the role in 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and 2017’s Justice League. Then, Cavill’s superhero dry spell began, and five whole years passed with no news of his potential return.

The Warner Bros. Discovery merger brought a glimmer of hope for Cavill’s Superman, and the release of Black Adam promised his return with a shocking mid-credits cameo that teased his on-screen rivalry with The Rock’s DC anti-hero. Within just two short months, however, Cavill was officially ousted, bringing an abrupt and painful conclusion to his tenure in the role. It was by far one of the year’s most disappointing developments, especially so soon after his return was seemingly confirmed.

Though very little context for the decision has been offered, it’s seemingly James Gunn and Peter Safran’s way of distancing the DCU from Zack Snyder’s original vision. It would be unfair to assume that their plans for the character of Superman can’t live up to Cavill’s own legacy in the role, but it was a particularly disheartening development for fans of the character, the actor, or the Snyderverse in general. The speed of his return and subsequent departure made it sting all the more, making it by far one of the worst movie moments of 2022.