Is it a Bird? Is it a Plane? NO! It’s a muddled contract negotiation, gone wrong with DC, Warners and SUPERMAN!
Today, the Hollywood Reporter all but confirmed that HENRY CAVILL was OUT. Out as Superman, that is.
His team have subsequently put a positive spin on things and Warner Bros, likewise, issued damage limitation statements. Doors still open. Relationship still valued. You know the sort of thing? He in NO WAY AT ALL asked for too much money to reprise a role in a franchise that they urgently need to reboot. ‘You were good in your time, Superman, but..’.
The main rumour doing rounds is that Cavill was asked to cameo in the forthcoming SHAZAM! movie and that when he ummed and urred about contractual commitments and availability, schedule wise..Warners told him to do one, faster than a speeding bullet.
The precise details of what went down have been hushed up with most sworn to secrecy. However, my insider sources tell me that:
- The meeting between Henry and Warners was going splendidly. At first.
- But things got heated. Literally. As money was mentioned, his X Ray eye /laser beam vision ignited.
- The Office lot was burned, badly and several executives suffered shock.
- Cavill TRIED to make amends by blowing ice breath on all around him.
- Things got worse not better, however: with a number of personnel frozen solid.
- He also froze himself. OUT of negotiations!
- It is thought the studio already had a replacement in mind. His name sounded a bit like ‘TIM HUDDLESTON’?
- This new candidate is said to be just what the studio have been seeking. He can make Superman look more ‘grounded’. AND is happy to work in his underpants.
Is it too late to retrieve things? Cavill has been seen frantically flying round the globe in a bid to manipulate our axis and reverse both time and the breakdown in communications with Warners /DC. While he’s at it, he might just erase BATMAN V SUPERMAN from history, too. Coz that was when everything went super-tits up for his tenure as the Man of Steel /last son of Krypton/God of Thunder/web-slinger (hang on: suspect at least two of those titles are..taken by non superman types?).
On a serious note though. Every actor is of course, replaceable. Those that think otherwise..tend to get..replaced? History could repeat itself with Cavill /Superman. Funnily enough, he was himself, down to the last 2 candidates for the last Bond re-casting, losing, narrowly to Daniel Craig. And yes, he could ace the 007 role again when Daniel steps down. But for now? He NEEDS Superman. His is not quite as strong a negotiating position as say, Robert Downey Junior, without whom, there simply would be no Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Cavill just does not have that KIND of star /acting /commercial power. YET. But he could have, and soon. IF he manages to retain the Superman role, for say 2-3 more years? BE the guy who transitions the current iteration INTO reboot, rather than becoming the catalyst FOR that change? Equally: DC/Warners would do well to retain Henry. Pay him SOME sort of bonus. NOT because JUSTICE LEAGUE or ANY of his Superman appearances have been record breaking commercial hits (if anything, the era has been a yuge business misfire; losing money /not making half as much as projected). But simply because HE is NOT what went ‘wrong’.
Indeed, MOST fans of the genre and casual cinema going wider audiences cite Cavill as among the BEST iterations, onscreen, of SUPERMAN. As good as the late, great Christopher Reeve, if not better? Certainly equal to/ more distinguished than Brandon Routh / Dean Cain. Henry not only makes you believe a man can fly but that he can kick serious arse in a fight and jump across buildings etc. I’d argue he is the definitive Superman? Captures the joy, idealism, authority, decency, conflict and potentially deadly yet thankfully benign, messianic strength and force of the ultimate hero. And he had at least one great film in the portfolio so maybe give him another go?
MAN OF STEEL is a sublime movie; managing to fuse the philosophical ideals of the comic book lore to a visceral, immersive, action adventure aesthetic. And the leading man was critical to that; giving his all at a physical level whilst evolving and emoting onscreen and thereby capturing every facet of a beloved character. Director ZACK SNYDER gave us an original and exciting take on all the old story beats. Daily Planet, Lois Lane, Kent Farm, Krypton, Zod: all ‘there’ and packaged into a truly moving, rousing morality play. Crowned by a majestic score from Hans Zimmer; just managing to equal the joy of the John Williams counterpart.
The ethos of the film was entirely compatible with the (then) prevailing Christopher Nolan Dark Knight Trilogy; taking the framework of reality and marrying that to the beloved beats of comic book fantasy. There was a respectable if unremarkable box office and that SHOULD have catalysed a simple SUPERMAN sequel. Before maybe dragging CHRISTIAN BALE’s BATMAN out of that Cafe in Florence (he could always go back?) for a perfectly logical progression / team up?
But no. They HAD to get clever, catch up to Marvel and try to reach a fast billion; rushing into an ill conceived ‘shared universe’ with the (admittedly, also excellent but ill served) Affleck iteration of BATMAN. No time for EITHER character to breathe or develop. Cue disappointing returns that diminished, further, with a more innocent /charming / light but all too little, too late JUSTICE LEAGUE, its reputation spoiled before release by behind the scenes chaos and the dour darkness that had been BATMAN V SUPERMAN. That said? I am one of ‘those’ people who think SUPERMAN III is great (indeed, I prefer it to the over-earnest Donner 1 and 2; I know..will get help..by watching SUPERMAN 4! )
That said? AT NO STAGE has anyone seemed to blame Henry Cavill. And it is indeed, therefore, now difficult to see why or how he could be replaced, in haste, without adequate re-definition of the whole ‘DC Extended Universe’. Whilst we (sadly) appear to have lost Ben Affleck as Batman; that need NOT mean we somehow, syllogistically, jettison a perfect Cavill as Superman? Pay him a BIT more: based on his competence, commitment and loyalty, whilst recognising that he had a good summer c/o Mission:Impossible and is in demand thanks to Bond hype and the forthcoming Net-Flix ‘Witcher’ series.
In the HIGHLY unlikely event that Henry THEN tries to play harder-ball? Just use the ‘Dude: Your ‘superman’ flopped; Mission:Impossible was a Tom Cruise film and nobody cares that you were almost 007‘ card. He might then accept the deal presented? But hopefully that is NOT necessary and BOTH parties can see the inherent value in continued collaboration. If things REALLY cannot be resolved and both parties need someone to blame? Just try TRUMP. He is the ‘go to’ blame for everything. ‘I worked with Lex Luthor on many occasions. Nice Guy. Cavill? Who wants a BRIDDDISH Superman, anyway. KRYPTON FIRST! Don’t read the DAILY PLANET: It’s #FAKENEWS. Goodbye’. Etc..
Cavill’s a good kid; works hard; fills the screen; has legions of adoring fans, performs well at interviews and does a great deal for the Armed Services. Those qualities alone surely warrant a contract extension? He is in hot demand, anyway. Rumour has it (on the ‘QT’: Geddit?) that QUENTIN TARANTINO has selected Cavill to replace BURT REYNOLDS (RIP) in ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD’.
‘As i see it; Reynolds himself turned DOWN Superman so it’s a cool reversal. Also? it’s about that MOUSTACHE; And Henry is GREAT at moustaches. Or we can CGI one ONTO him as a cool inversion of that time when..’(shurrup, Tarantino!).
In any event: a SUPER DEAL should be stuck for Cavill with Warners/DC. KEEP CAVILL AS SUPERMAN? And we can ALL sleep safely, in our beds!
And if not? Well..they have an answer in TOM HIDDLESTON. VERY impressive in slippers. Good at genuine work in underpants and provides his own, thereby saving the studio money on the budget. Also: no stunt doubles: that is HIS ‘toight’, macho, super-bod/bum/bulge etc. Can fly. Without wires. Comes with ready made T-Shirt that has an ‘S’ on it (well, ‘TS’, anyway). Could probably reverse BREXIT through a smile and the power of positive thinking / nice cuppa tea? Can win spelling contests. In ancient GREEK!
And unlike other Supermans who lost many work days to Kryptonite exposure? Hiddleston is invulnerable: zero weakness. NO ALLERGIES. He is like the most masculine screen presence on the block. Women LOVE him. Lois Lane would not know what had hit her! Lex Luthor would be outclassed in every way by this guy’s low-key /loki charm. I also BELIEVED him as a ‘night manager’ in that show a few years back.
Seriously. If I were in a Hotel and NEEDED that critical can of Fanta at 4 am? I’d trust Hidds’ to get that for me. He was THAT good. And he appears to be available for work. VERY. AVAILABLE. Hence, while I MIGHT be joking; it is also possible that the rise of SUPER-TOM could see Cavill looking to his laurels and condemned to the film franchise naughty step?
We shall see. Right. Off to my ‘Fortress of Solitude’. 🙂
MORE NEWS WILL BE FORTHCOMING..when more actual news si..er..actually..forthcoming /official. Meanwhile? It is all speculation and half supportive yet cryptic press releases. HENRY CAVILL MIGHT RETURN AS SUPERMAN. So might..TOM HIDDLESTON. We promise to keep you all posted..faster than a speeding bullet.
JAMES MURPHY AND SUPERMAN HAVE NEVER BEEN SEEN IN THE SAME PLACE AT THE SAME TIME..JUST SAYIN’, LIKE..;)