Gal Gadot all over, Cavill Kryptonited: Gunn triggers a wholesale DCU reboot?

Despite recent official confirmations, the changes at Warners/DC seem to mean a complete reworking of their movie strategies...

It would seem that the tenure of James Gunn and Peter Safran as co-Presidents of DC Entertainment is rapidly becoming a daily rollercoaster of news and they are taking no prisoners in their reorganisation and their efforts to make the rather fractured shared-universe of stories more cohesive – perhaps starting everything over from scratch.

After news that the proposed version of the next Wonder Woman movie (to once again star Gal Gadot and be directed by Patty Jenkins) had been completely scrapped in its current form, there was some confusion as to how the screeching of brakes had been applied. Gal Gadot had, mere hours before tweeted a message saying “Can’t wait to share her next chapter with you…” seemingly indicating she had no idea what was about to be announced.  Had Jenkins walked or been pushed? In a lengthy statement on Tuesday, Jenkins cleared up some of the details saying that “I never walked away. I was open to considering anything asked of me. It was my understanding there was nothing I could do to move anything forward at this time...DC is obviously buried in changes they are having to make, so I understand these decisions are difficult right now but that she had ultimately parted ways, fairly amicably and Gunn echoed the sentiment saying that he could “… attest that all of Peter and my interactions with you were only pleasant and professional…“.

Now, even more unexpectedly, it seems that the change in management means that Henry Cavill is also out of the frame and his much-heralded return to doing Superman films – announced mere weeks ago after his cameo in Black Adam, but before Gunn and Sarafan assumed their positions – has been kryptonite’d. The latest news also comes mere days after Gunn told a worried fan online that “Yes, of course. Superman is a huge priority, if not the biggest priority…

I just had a meeting with James Gunn and Peter Safran and it’s sad news, everyone,” Cavill posted to Instagram. “I will, after all, not be returning as Superman. After being told by the studio to announce my return back in October, prior to their hire, this news isn’t the easiest, but that’s life. The changing of the guard is something that happens. I respect that. James and Peter have a universe to build. I wish them and all involved with the new universe the best of luck, and the happiest of fortunes. For those who have been by my side through the years…. We can mourn for a bit, but then we must remember…. Superman is still around. Everything he stands for still exists, and the examples he sets for us are still there. My turn to wear the cape has passed, but what Superman stands for never will. It’s been a fun ride with you all, onwards and upwards.

Gunn’s own statement seemed to confirm that the decision was difficult but that the various people involved were dealing with the nature of shifting creative decisions – and that Cavill might not be completely gone from all future considerations.

Peter & I have a DC slate ready to go, which we couldn’t be more over-the-moon about; we’ll be able to share some exciting information about our first projects at the beginning of the new year. Among those on the slate is Superman. In the initial stages, our story will be focusing on an earlier part of Superman’s life, so the character will not be played by Henry Cavill. But we just had a great meeting with Henry and we’re big fans and we talked about a number of exciting possibilities to work together in the future.

Gunn promises more announcements early in 2023, but it’s likely these current plans supersede any and all previous details and announcements and that he and Safran are fully intending a complete rebuild to compete with Marvel. Time will tell if it works…  In the meantime Cavill has other projects on his radar. He may have left The Witcher tv series but as things stand,  he’s still confirmed for the Highlander reboot.