Henry Cavill is set to reprise his DCEU role as Superman, and there are a few different upcoming DC movies he could appear in. Cavill made his debut as Superman back in 2013's Man of Steel, before Warner Bros. then decided to accelerate their shared universe plans, turning a sequel into Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The negative reception to that meant WB shifted direction once again, and Cavill only made one further appearance as Superman, in 2017's Justice League. That itself was drastically altered from what Superman's role was going to be in Zack Snyder's cut of Justice League, and Cavill's lasting legacy has largely become his infamously CGI removed mustache.
Plans for a true Superman sequel with Cavill have been on-and-off over the years, with numerous rumors and different directors (such as Matthew Vaughn and Christopher McQuarrie) being linked, but as it stands Man of Steel 2 isn't in development at Warner Bros. Alongside that there have been various reports of Cavill's own DC future, with the actor previously said to be leaving the role behind. Now, though, Cavill's Superman is set to return in an upcoming DCEU film that isn't Man of Steel 2, but what it will be remains to be seen.
There are a few movies that Cavill's Superman won't appear in. Wonder Woman 1984 is set for release in August 2020, so it's now much too late to add Cavill, and the movie's setting means it'd be hard to work him in anyway. James Gunn's The Suicide Squad has wrapped filming, so unless there's a small cameo or post-credits scene added in much later on, that also seems unlikely to happen. The Batman, starring Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne, is in its own universe separate from the DCEU, and WB might be rather hesitant about putting Batman and Superman together on screen again so soon. That still leaves a few possible upcoming DC movies for Henry Cavill's Superman to appear in though.
The earliest upcoming DC movie Henry Cavill's Superman could turn up in is Black Adam, which is currently scheduled for release on December 22, 2021. The film stars Dwayne Johnson as the titular DC character, who has been shown as both a villain (primarily to Shazam) and an anti-hero, with the latter more likely given Johnson taking on the part. While Black Adam is Shazam (formerly Captain Marvel)'s arch-nemesis, he and Superman have fought on a number of occasions in the comics, so there is a basis for the face-off. Black Adam is one of the characters usually depicted as being at least as powerful as Superman too, so it'd make for an equal match-up.
Making this more likely is that Cavill has previously teased a Black Adam appearance, although that was back in 2016. Similarly, Cavill and Johnson are both represented by Dany Garcia, who is working as a producer on Black Adam via her and Johnson's Seven Bucks Production company. Hiram Garcia, who serves as the company's president, previously said that that they're open to Cavill appearing in Black Adam. With an established comics history, the close relationship between Cavill, Johnson, and the producers of Black Adam, and a lot of fan art of Black Adam and Superman fighting that suggests there's plenty of demand for this, then Cavill in Black Adam does make some sense.
The spanner in the works for this one is in how DC wants to portray Black Adam. If he's going to be more of an anti-hero, then it might be decided that he shouldn't fight Superman. After all, the face-off of two heroes has already bitten Warner Bros., which would mean one of them would then have to be the ostensible villain. Cavill's Superman turning to the dark side may work better in Zack Snyder's Justice League Knightmare timeline, but it's still unclear how much room that would leave for being the bad guy in a film outside of it. Black Adam as a villain is easier, especially as he could then face Shazam, but it also doesn't quite fit with the approach they're seemingly going for. Quite how big a role Cavill could have may also be determined by The Witcher, where he leads the show as Geralt, and may mean fitting in Black Adam proves difficult.
Of the Justice League characters with upcoming solo movies, perhaps the most plausible destination for Henry Cavill's Superman is the long-gestating The Flash movie, starring Ezra Miller as the eponymous speedster. Part of the original DC Extended Universe plan, The Flash has been through a number of different writers and directors over the years, and has been pushed back several times, with its current release date set for June 3, 2022. IT's Andy Muschietti is directing, with a script from Christina Hodson.
The solo movie for Flash will adapt Flashpoint, the DC Comics storyline wherein Barry Allen goes back in time to save his mother's life, only to radically alter the present timeline. Flashpoint opens up a number of possibilities for different DC characters to appear, with Thomas Wayne (played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan in the DCEU) as Batman, Martha Wayne (Lauren Cohan) as the Joker, and Aquaman & Wonder Woman at war with one another. Superman's role, however, is rather small in the grand scheme of things: Cyborg has assumed his position as the world's foremost superhero, and it at first seems like Supes doesn't exist. Later, it's discovered that he's being held captive as a lab-rat of sorts of by the U.S. Government.
Superman does later escape and join the fight, but it's unclear whether that's the kind of role Cavill would return for. However, Muschietti has said this Flashpoint will be different to the comics, so it's possible that there'll be a different role for Superman in this version, which could lead to Cavill's involvement. Of course, there's also another possible, smaller way to get Cavill's Superman in there. The characters have a long, friendly rivalry over whether Flash or Superman is faster. This was referenced in the mid-credits scene of Justice League, which saw the pair race, but didn't provide a conclusive winner. After Flashpoint has been resolved, it's possible there could be a rematch between Barry and Clark Kent.
Henry Cavill's Superman almost appeared in Shazam! back in 2018, with lots of reports about his cameo coming close to happening before talks fell through. Cavill was even said to have shot a Superman cameo for Shazam!, though it's unclear if it'll ever see the light of day. In the end, Shazam did feature the Man of Steel, with Billy bringing him into the lunch room as a surprise for Freddy, but the film cut off the top of his head so as to not show who was playing him - but it obviously wasn't Cavill.
Since that was around the time Cavill's DC movie future looked in doubt, then now that his Superman is coming back it could make Shazam 2 - set for release on November 4, 2022 - the perfect spot for an appearance. It could be that Cavill's Superman in Shazam 2 is little more than a fun cameo, in the same way it would've been in the first Shazam. That fits with the tone and style of the franchise, and would be easy for Cavill to fit in around his commitments to The Witcher, although its later release date should make that a little easier anyway.
If DC wanted to find a bigger role in the film, then it's possible Superman and Shazam could team-up to fight a new villain, and perhaps even Black Adam. The risk there is putting too much in one film, and having Superman and Black Adam both in the film would overshadow Shazam himself, which is why it might be better to keep the role more restricted, perhaps building to a bigger team-up movie in the DCEU's future.
The other upcoming Justice League member solo movie where Henry Cavill's Superman could appear is Aquaman 2, which is currently set for release on December 16, 2022. There is admittedly less of a basis for this one, for a few reasons: there's been little linking the two characters in the DCEU thus far, so there's not an obvious fit for Superman in an Aquaman film. Likewise, given much of the movie will presumably take place underwater, and there are plenty of threads from the first Aquaman to build upon, then again it could be hard to work Superman in. At the same time, both characters are established members of the Justice League, and Aquaman 2 will surely spend at least some time on land, so it's not impossible that Cavill's Superman could appear in a small role, perhaps sowing seeds for something bigger to come in another DC movie. Aquaman visits Superman's grave in the Justice League Snyder Cut too, so there could be more of a link through that.
Other Upcoming DC Movies Cavill's Superman Could Appear In
While Black Adam, The Flash, Shazam 2, and Aquaman 2 represent the most likely options for Henry Cavill's Superman, and are as far as the DCEU slate extends right now, it's still possible he could appear in a movie that's not yet been given a release date. DC have a number of films in development, albeit in very different stages, while they'll be expanding that in the coming years - and with coronavirus slowing things down and Cavill's busy schedule, something a little later might be better for him. If the long-mooted Green Lantern Corps. film ever happens, for instance (though it seems unlikely with a HBO Max show in the works), Cavill could cameo there.
Likewise, he might instead be used in a sequel for one of the upcoming movies, such as Black Adam 2 or Shazam 3, or some kind of larger team-up. And if Zack Snyder's Justice League ends up leading to Justice League 2 eventually happening in some form - and while it's a long way off, Warner Bros. would surely want that team-up to happen again one day - then that would be another DC movie for Cavill's Superman to return in. And while Man of Steel 2 isn't happening yet, if Cavill's cameo leads to a bigger groundswell of support, then there's still a chance that could happen too.
Key Release Dates
- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020)Release Date: Aug 14, 2020
- The Suicide Squad (2021)Release Date: Aug 06, 2021
- The Batman (2021)Release Date: Oct 21, 2021
- Black Adam (2021)Release Date: Dec 22, 2021
- DC Super Pets (2022)Release Date: May 20, 2022
- The Flash (2022)Release Date: Jun 03, 2022
- Shazam 2 (2022)Release Date: Nov 04, 2022
- Aquaman 2 (2022)Release Date: Dec 16, 2022