How Henry Cavill’s Superman Can Return (Even If The DCEU Reboots)

Even if the DCEU's next Superman movie is a reboot, Henry Cavill can still don the cape one last time to mentor Clark Kent's successor.

An eventual DCEU Superman reboot could feature Henry Cavill’s last appearance as the Man of Steel if it follows in the footsteps of other similar superhero movies. Superman is undeniably the face of DC superheroes across all media. He’s the most powerful hero in all of DC and the leader of the Justice League in almost every iteration of the team. Having been created more than two decades before Spider-Man and the Avengers, Superman should have an established movie franchise by now. Unfortunately, Superman movies have been few and far between, despite having the talented and incredibly comic-accurate Henry Cavill as the lead. However, although his future in the role seems far from certain, it’s by no means guaranteed that Justice League marks Cavill’s final appearance as Kal-El.

But despite the mixed reception that most DCEU movies have gathered, the current plans for upcoming movies and shows set in Warner Bros.’ cinematic universe are an exciting prospect for fans. Matt Reeves’ The Batman reboot and its Penguin-centered spinoff will create a new whole new universe for Robert Pattinson’s Dark Knight to explore, while The Flash will collide the worlds of Barry Allen, Supergirl, and Michael Keaton’s Batman, with Black Adam, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, and Shazam! Fury of the Gods set to continue the cinematic journey of DC’s breakout stars. Although it seems that a new Justice League movie won’t see the light of day in a long time, there is no urgent need for a crossover movie with so many new stories coming to please fans in the near future.

Zack Snyder’s original Justice League may have been disbanded, but besides Aquaman and the Flash, Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman is still on board for a third solo installment and Ben Affleck’s Batman will appear one last time in The Flash. That leaves Henry Cavill’s Superman, the central figure who started it all, without a defined DCEU future. A Superman reboot has been rumored, but the fact that a new actor could star as the Man of Steel doesn’t mean that the DCEU’s original Kal-El should be forgotten. Here’s how Henry Cavill’s Superman can return for one final appearance.

Henry Cavill’s Superman Deserves A Final Goodbye

The divide between Henry Cavill’s highly praised performance as Superman and the reception of the movies he has starred in has been present from the start. Man of Steel inaugurated the DCEU to very mixed reviews from critics and general audiences alike. Soon after, the reception of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League got increasingly divided. However, most negative criticisms were directed at Zack Snyder’s vision rather than Henry Cavill’s performance. Regardless of how much each viewer likes or dislikes Snyder’s distinctive style, Henry Cavill’s love for and dedication to Superman has been unquestionable.

Ben Affleck had an even rougher time as Batman in the DCEU, as he didn’t even get the chance to show his talents in a solo movie and received lots of pressure from audiences and the shooting process. Yet, Affleck is saying goodbye to his role in The Flash, where he’s expected to receive his due alongside Michael Keaton’s iconic Batman. A final appearance is only fair for Affleck, given that his version of The Batman will remain among the most interesting what-if projects in superhero movie history. So, if Ben Affleck’s desire to move away from franchise movies didn’t get in the way for one last adventure as the Caped Crusader, there’s no reason why Henry Cavill, who’s still ready to reprise his Superman role, shouldn’t come back to the DCEU. Many DC fans would welcome a revamped Superman trilogy starring Cavill — a final sendoff would be the bare minimum.

The Superman Reboot Could Have Henry Cavill As A Mentor Figure

While characters like Batman, Flash, and Spider-Man are better known for sharing stories with their multiversal counterparts, Superman has also interacted with many other Super-people throughout the years. Ultraman, Bizarro, Superboy-Prime, Superwoman, Red Son Superman, and Val-Zod are only a few alternate Supermen Kal-El has met in the comics. A new Superman movie doesn’t need to tell the same story as Spider-Man: No Way Home, but it could still feature Henry Cavill’s Superman being a mentor to the next hero who dons the cape. Whether the rumored Val-Zod or a brand-new Superman arrives to reboot the franchise, Cavill’s Superman could be there to fill the role that both Jor-El and Pa Kent had on his life.

Enough time has passed in-universe for the DCEU’s Superman to be a seasoned hero who’s loved by the entire world, and he has gone through many major events that have made him Earth’s most popular hero. While Cavill’s Superman deserved much more screentime to detail his journey, passing on the torch to a new generation would complete Cavill’s tenure of the role. The next Superman movie would also be an ideal opportunity to represent Superman’s message of hope in all its glory, reaffirming why the red cape and blue tights are not exclusive to one person, but instead are a symbol of love and compassion that anybody could wear to save the world.

Marvel And DC Are Capitalizing On Mentor Figures

Not only would Superman’s mentor role fit perfectly in a soft reboot, but it would also go in line with what many superhero movies and shows are currently doing. As previously mentioned, The Flash features the farewell of Ben Affleck’s Batman, presumably as a mentor figure to Barry Allen alongside Michael Keaton’s Batman. Over at Marvel, Clint Barton is teaching Kate Bishop the responsibility that comes with being Hawkeye, while Hulk will train She-Hulk, Thor is about to witness Jane Foster receive his powers, and Captain Marvel might see herself forced to mentor Kamala Khan and Monica Rambeau. Similarly, the most popular idea for the final appearance of Tom Holland’s Spider-Man has him as a mentor to Miles Morales, just like Tony Stark was Peter’s mentor before his death. Even Wonder Woman 3, which is still early in development, has confirmed the return of Lynda Carter’s Asteria in a bigger role after her cameo in Wonder Woman 1984, possibly as a veteran Amazon who will teach Diana Prince a thing or two.

What Henry Cavill’s Superman Return Would Mean For The DCEU Multiverse

Depending on what The Flash reveals about the multiverse, Henry Cavill’s Superman and Ben Affleck’s Batman could cease to exist forever, similar to how Earth-Two Superman and other multiversal characters have departed during DC’s various Crisis events in order to allow updated versions of themselves to take the spotlight. Another possibility is that Zack Snyder’s universe survives the events of The Flash, which would let Superman and Batman appear as minor characters in future movies. The multiverse is a very dangerous concept to use in a cinematic universe, given how easy it is to alienate audiences who aren’t as acquainted with the movies and comics. But now that the DCEU and the MCU seem to be introducing alternate realities successfully, the possibility of Superman‘s return restores hope to the fans of Henry Cavill’s performance.

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