According to a new report from Variety, Warner Bros. will not be moving forward with Batman and Superman movies featuring Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill. This means that a sequel to Man of Steel is off the table, though the report did not indicate that the studio is looking to recast the character of Superman even if it is looking for a Batman beyond Affleck.
The report says that the changes, which also includes news that production on the untitled standalone Flash film starring Ezra Miller has been pushed back to late 2019 due to Miller's role in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, were prompted by the lackluster box office performance of Justice League. It seems that Warner Bros. had used the film's performance to take a hard look at its approach to DC movies.
The news that Warner Bros. won't be going forward with Cavill's Superman movies comes just over a month after reports that Cavill had exited the role after negotiations for a cameo in the upcoming Shazam movie broke down due to scheduling conflicts. While that report was never confirmed -- and was left wide open for all kinds of speculation thanks to a series of vague responses from the studio, Cavill's representative, and even Cavill himself -- the fact remained that the actor had signed on to play Geralt of Rivia in Netflix's The Witcher series.
Of course, while the report indicated that Warner Bros. is expected to look for a new Batman, there was no such indication about a new Superman. It's not impossible that the studio plans to continue with Cavill as the hero, just in a more diminished role.
Cavill played Superman three times in Warner Bros.' shared DC Comics movie universe. He debuted the role in 2013's Man of Steel, and he returned to battle Affleck's Dark Knight in 2016's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. If his appearance as Superman in 2017's Justice League ends up his final outing as the character, it would line up with something noted in the THR report about Cavill's departure.
"There's a recognition that some parts of the previous movies didn't work," a source told THR. Another source hints that this is just one big moment as Warner Bros. attempts to "reset" the direction of DC Films. This idea is backed up by comments from WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey during an investor call earlier this month, in which he said, "Some of our franchises, in particular DC, we all think we can do better."
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