Henry Cavill Was ‘Dicked Around by a Lot of People,’ James Gunn Says of Superman Actor’s DC Limbo

“First of all, we didn’t fire Henry,” Gunn said while explaining why the “Man of Steel” actor isn’t continuing on in this new DC plan

Warner Bros.

DC Studios co-CEO James Gunn spoke about former Superman actor Henry Cavill’s exit as the Man of Steel at the DCU presentation on the Warners lot on Monday, clarifying that he and co-CEO Peter Safran didn’t fire Cavill and adding that the “Man of Steel” actor was unfortunately “dicked around by a lot of people.”

Cavill delighted fans in last year when he made a surprise appearance as Superman in “Black Adam,” then revealed soon after that he was fully ready to once again don the red cape for DC Studios and Warner Bros. Discovery. And for a short while, his return seemed like a sure thing.

Post-“Black Adam,” Cavill promised future appearances as the last son of Krypton while Dwayne Johnson publicly touted his own vision for Black Adam and Superman in the DC Universe. But when Gunn and Safran were installed as co-CEOs to create and spearhead a new vision for the future of the DCU, they were put in an awkward position having never planned to bring Cavill back as Superman in the first place.

“I like Henry. He’s a great guy,” Gunn said to TheWrap and a small group of reporters at the DCU presentation. “I think he’s gotten dicked around by a lot of people, including former regimes at this company. But this Superman’s not Henry for a number of reasons.”

Gunn is writing an all-new “Superman: Legacy ” script for Warner Bros. Discovery, which will introduce a new Superman to the DCU. Cavill is no longer attached to the role after meeting with new DC Studios chiefs Gunn and Peter Safran late last year.

“To me, first of all, we didn’t fire Henry,” Gunn said. “Henry was never cast. Henry was in a cameo and that was the end of his story. A lot of people made assumptions out of that that weren’t necessarily true. But for me, it’s about who do I want to cast as Superman and who does the filmmakers who are making the movie want to cast, and for me for this story, it isn’t Henry.”

Gunn and DC Studios Co-Chief Safran explained that “Superman Legacy” will kick off their vision for the DCU in earnest. “This is really the start of the DCU. It’s currently being written by James and I sincerely hope that he can be persuaded, perhaps, to direct it as well,” Safran said.

“It is not an origin story, it focuses on Superman balancing his Kryptonian heritage with his human upbringing,” Safran added. “He is the embodiment of Truth, Justice and the American Way. He is kindness in a world that thinks of kindness as old fashioned.”

A tentative release date of July 11, 2025 is set for the “Superman” reboot.

Cavill made his debut as Superman in the Zack Snyder-directed 2013 reboot “Man of Steel,” reprising the role in Snyder’s “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” and “Justice League.” While fans long clamored for a proper “Man of Steel” sequel, that’s not in the cards for this new iteration of the DC universe.