With Henry Cavill's Superman having a sizeable part to play in Zack Snyder's Justice League, attention has inevitably turned to a possible standalone sequel involving The Last Son of Krypton.
Cavill, for his part, has spoken at length over the years about returning to the red and blue – but will Man of Steel 2 happen with or without him? There have been conflicting reports and rumors that suggest everything from a brand-new Superman to a Henry Cavill return away from his own series. Confusion is our kryptonite – so let's make sense of it all and paint the clearest picture possible on Man of Steel 2, how Henry Cavill fits in the DCEU now, and any future Superman stories that are waiting to be told.
Is Man of Steel 2 happening?
A Man of Steel sequel, a follow-up to Zack Snyder's 2013 DCEU debut, has been the subject of whispers and intense fan speculation for over half a decade. Batman v Superman, Justice League, and even an odd cameo with Superman appearing (the character showed up, though it wasn't specifically Cavill's version) in Shazam! all came and went without so much as a nod towards Man of Steel 2.
Any plans appear to have fallen by the wayside. The latest industry report that said that Man of Steel 2 was in "active development" was back in 2016 (via The Wrap), a lifetime in the movie business. Since then? Radio silence. There is no Man of Steel 2 in production, nor have any industry trades or legitimate insiders suggested as much.
As with the Snyder Cut, never say never – particularly with Warner Bros. having a new platform in HBO Max to showcase its movies. For now, though, Man of Steel 2 isn't happening as the studio has other, separate plans both for the character and – potentially – even Henry Cavill.
Will Henry Cavill return as Superman?
Henry Cavill really wants to return as Superman. He revealed in a 2019 interview with Men’s Health that he's kept his cape. His words also reflect a desire to keep telling more stories as the Man of Steel.
"It's still mine," Cavill said. "I'm not going to sit quietly in the dark as all the stuff is going on. I've not given up the role. There's a lot I have to give for Superman yet. A lot of storytelling to do. A lot of real, true depths to the honesty of the character I want to get into. I want to reflect the comic books. That's important to me. There's a lot of justice to be done for Superman. The status is: You'll see.”
Fast forward a few months and Variety reported that Henry Cavill will return as Superman in an unnamed future DC movie. However, it's not going to be Shazam: Fury of the Gods. He told Variety in a separate interview in June 2020 that "I hope that I get to play more of Superman in years to come."
Nothing official has been announced as of writing, but it's the clearest sign yet that the British actor will be donning the spandex and the hopeful 'S' once more.
Is there a new Superman movie in the works?
Confusingly, there's another new Superman movie in the works, away from Henry Cavill's interpretation of the character. As per Shadow and Act, Ta-Nehisi Coates will be penning the story and J.J. Abrams is set to produce.
No one has been cast, though THR says it will include a Black actor playing Superman. Variety revealed in 2019 that Michael B. Jordan had held talks over "pitching" Warner Bros. a story for the character, though it’s unclear if the two projects are connected.
What is clear, though, is we're getting at least one new Superman movie – with a prominent Black voice behind it. Zack Snyder's Justice League (and a possible Henry Cavill cameo elsewhere) may yet muddy the waters for the Man of Steel's on-screen future, but at least things are starting to soar once more after having spent the last few years grounded.
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