Henry Cavill has had one foot in—and one foot out—of DC's door since becoming Superman in 2013. Whereas the likes of Chris Hemsworth and Mark Ruffalo have all but dedicated their entire professional lives to their Marvel roles, Cavill had the Justice League VFX team working overtime, digitally removing his Mission: Impossible mustache.
After a highly celebrated Black Adam cameo (arguably the only takeaway from The Rock-led superhero flick that received any praise), rumors that Cavill would be back as Superman were buzzing. Now, the actor has confirmed the news himself. On Monday, he posted on social media: "I wanted to wait until the weekend was over before posting this because I wanted to give you all a chance to watch Black Adam,” Cavill said in an Instagram video. "But now that plenty of you have, I wanted to make it official: I am back as Superman." He called his return "just a very small taste of things to come."
Cavill was contractually obligated to appear as Superman in one more Warner Bros. film, but it remains unclear just how much his return means to the state of the DCEU. According to a new story by The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. has a significant interest in developing a quasi-Man of Steel follow-up. Christopher McQuarrie, who worked with Cavill on Mission: Impossible – Fallout, was on a shortlist of writers to pen the project, but the filmmaker is currently engrossed in making both parts of Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning. At the same time, Dwayne Johnson is adamant that his Black Adam character should fight Superman in the future, and the fans seem to be going along with it. (He was also very vocal leading up to Black Adam's release about the "surprise" cameo.) If that wasn't enough, THR reported that Johnson's ex-wife and current manager, Dany Garcia, also represents Cavill.
And yet, none of this news has stopped rumors of the Cavill's future entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe as well. Though the man has starred in Netflix's The Witcher series since his last role as Superman in 2017's Justice League, fans have already lined the actor up for countless potential roles in the MCU including Captain Britain, Cyclops, Doctor Doom, Hyperion, Sentry, and Wonder Man. (These are all real guys, I promise!)
Marvel casting rumors have died down a bit since Dwayne Johnson's push for a Black Adam vs. Superman film gained momentum, but there's nothing stopping Cavill from switching sides once his contract is up. Remember, he's only signed on for one more outing in the red and blue tights. Becoming one of Marvel's Superman analogs, like Wonder Man, Hyperion, or Sentry, might just be the final nail in the coffin for DC. Not many people outside of real comic book heads have heard of these characters, but the potential box-office success of Black Adam may paint a different picture of what audiences are looking for in superhero flicks moving forward. Warner Bros. is not only hemorrhaging content to cut costs, but the film studio is also dealing with a crisis regarding the chaos surrounding The Flash actor Ezra Miller. Could Cavill's return save the franchise (once again)? It's a kind of feat only Superman could tackle.
This article was first published on Esquire.