It appears that Superman’s cape will be draped over the shoulders of a new crusader the next time we see the Man of Steel on the big screen.
After three (very meh) turns from Henry Cavill, the Briton’s run as Superman seems to be at an end. There hasn’t been any official announcement from the actor or the studio (Warner Brothers), but the facts of the matter coupled with some insider quotes effectively spell an end to his run.
Cavill’s rumored cameo in Shazam! fell through because of scheduling issues and the only other Superman-related film in the works from Warner Bros. is a Supergirl’s origin story, which has no need for an adult Superman. However Superman will join Supergirl in a CW crossover episode – played by a TV actor, not Cavill.
It will be years before Warner Bros. makes a new, stand-alone Superman movie and, as a studio source told the Hollywood Reporter, “Superman is like James Bond, and after a certain run you have to look at new actors.”
At the risk of evoking too much James Bond for a Superman article, the writings on the wall.
While Cavill’s Superman has its supporters, neither Man of Steel (2013), Batman v Superman (2016), nor Justice League (2017) were terribly well received. With a Metacritic score of 55, Man of Steel was the most critically acclaimed of the bunch. It also performed the best against the competition, finishing fifth at the box office in 2013.
Batman v Superman (Metacritic score of 44) finished seventh in 2016, while Justice League (Metacritic score of 45) was a disappointing tenth last year.
The studio has to feel like those films left meat on the box-office bone, and also in the critical cauldron.
Christopher Reeve’s Superman (1978) was the third-highest grossing movie released that year and was a critical darling (Metacritic score of 80). Superman II (1981) was also third at the box office and garnered even better reviews than the original (Metacritic score of 87).
Recent Marvel success stories like Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War, which are first and second respectively in the 2018 box-office race, are ample proof that modern superhero films can be wildly profitable without sacrificing any of the storytelling element.
The fact that Cavill’s Superman efforts were lacking isn’t really his fault – you can only do so much with mediocre scripts and directors — but rebooting with a new face provides the opportunity to completely revamp the franchise, much like Christian Bale/Christopher Nolan did with Batman to wondrous results.
Of course, cooking up a better finished product requires starting with quality ingredients, and finding the right face for the next Superman is a crucial first step.
Interestingly enough, you can actually bet on who will take on that role. When you find a sportsbook that you think looks good, go here for site reviews before wagering to figure out if that is a reputable site or not. All the ones there have been reviewed by actual users.
Predicting a completely new direction for the franchise, odds have been released for which actor will be the next in line for the role. Creed star Michael B. Jordan is picked as the favorite at +125, with Armie Hammer at +350 and Idris Elba at +600.
For the uninitiated, that means they think Jordan has about a 45% chance of winning the role, compared to 22% for Hammer and 14% for Elba. Hilariously, Nicolas Cage is also on the list at +3300 (3%).
Be warned, even though Nic Cage was almost Superman in the mid 90s, the chances of him being the next Kal-El are extremely low, much lower than 3%.