The DC film universe will need to find a new Superman, but it seems it wasn't Henry Cavill who turned down the gig.
It was reported earlier today that Cavill, who has played the role of Superman and Clark Kent since 2013's Man of Steel, was parting ways with the part after negotiations fell apart with Warner Bros. THR's Tatiana Siegel clarified one aspect of the report on social media, adding that "As for who broke up with whom, Warner Bros. was the one who decided to move on from Henry Cavill."
According to the report, Warner Bros did not have another solo Superman project in the cards for at least a few years anyway, which probably fed into the negotiations stalling. They probably didn't want to pay Cavill a huge amount of money if the spots to actually use him were slim, and Cavill probably wanted that sum since it is a role he has to plan other projects around.
A source from the studio said, "Superman is like James Bond, and after a certain run you have to look at new actors." It seems WB agrees, and they will probably approach the Batman role with a similar outlook.
That same source explained that Warner Bros. knows it needs to change something in its strategy. "There's a recognition that some parts of the previous movies didn't work." Another source said the studio is essentially hitting the "reset" button on the universe, casting away any non-essential parts.
We imagine the essential parts are Wonder Woman and potentially Aquaman and Shazam!, but that all depends on how those latter films do at the box office. If they don't perform or receive a warm response from fans and critics, we imagine they could also be on the chopping block.
At the moment there are plenty of other announced projects in the DC film universe, but the future of those remains to be seen. Projects like Suicide Squad 2, Gotham City Sirens, the Joker Origin Movie, Batgirl, Nightwing, Deathstroke, a Harley solo film, and Black Adam are all still on the table, but that all could change if Warner Bros is doing an extensive house cleaning.
For now, we have three more films to look forward to in the foreseeable future, and the reception to those will tell us a lot about what the future DC universe will look like on the big screen.