A new report claims to have it from inside sources at Warner Bros. that despite actor Henry Cavill officially returning to his Superman role, there are no plans to move ahead with a Man of Steel 2 solo film. The issue seems to be with J.J. Abrams and Bad Robot forming their $500 million deal with WarnerMedia; Warner Bros. has been rumored to want J.J. Abrams to direct a Superman film but in order to get him (or any major director) behind a new Superman movie, the studio may need to in fact cast a new Superman actor.
Here's what Heroic Hollywood got from their inside source at Warner Bros.: "If your plan is to attract an A-list filmmaker like J.J. Abrams to direct such property, like Superman, they're going to demand they cast who they want in the title role."
That's not exactly a surprising notion: big-name filmmakers are used to crafting their own vision, and being hired for that ability. Their vision usually includes their own version of who the Superman character is - and of course, who should play him. It would be hard to find an established blockbuster filmmaker who would also be willing to bend to the studio's vision for what Cavill should do next. Considering how divisive Man of Steel and the subsequent Zack Snyder DC films have been, there are few big directors that would understandably want to avoid that mess.
Of course, it's not impossible. Henry Cavill has been out in Hollywood making big movies and TV shows alongside the likes of Guy Ritchie (The Man From U.N.C.L.E.), Christopher McQuarrie (Mission: Impossible - Fallout), and of course, Zack Snyder (Justice League: The Snyder Cut). All three of them have a relationship with Warner Bros., with fans often leaning towards McQuarrie, if not seeing Snyder return for a Superman sequel.
The question is: what's the best next step for the DC movie franchise? Zack Snyder's Justice League is finally getting finished and released, and if it's a hit, it could either motivate WB to push for the sequels to be made - or at the very least give fans some kind of final closure to the era of Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck's time in the franchise. Cavill will also have additional cameos in the DC Extended Universe movies, potentially completing some kind of arc for his Superman in other DC movies.
Matt Reeves is already giving fans a rebooted (and recast) version of The Dark Knight in The Batman; maybe a new Superman is also inevitable?
Zack Snyder's Justice League and The Batman both hit theaters in 2021.