With Henry Cavill potentially out as Superman, the DC cinematic universe -- referred to unofficially by fandom these days as "Worlds of DC" -- has never been more ripe for a refresh. But what will that new universe actually look like on-screen, and who among DC's pantheon of heroes would lead the charge?
In the immediate wake left as the Cavill rumor rippled across the Internet, fans and pundits were quick to speculate about alternative actors to play the Man of Steel. Paramount among these was the rumor that Warner Bros.' has been courting Michael B. Jordan to play Superman, though he's most likely being looked at to portray another version, such as Val-Zod of Earth 2. What came just as quickly, however, were the calls from fans not to diverge into new areas of exploration, but rather for DC to redouble its focus on the only element that has consistently worked within its modern films: putting women in the driver's seat.
Superman has long been called, among many other things, the "Man of Tomorrow," but perhaps to fill the large gap left by his most recent actor's alleged absence, what's needed is instead a Woman of Tomorrow... or multiple women. Luckily, DC already has some proven players who are ready, willing and able to step up and make sure that its future on-screen is indeed female, and thus, successful.
Of the five films that have been released since the birth of what once was known as the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) -- starting in 2013 with Man of Steel -- only one has truly been both critically praised and commercially successful across the board: Wonder Woman.
While many detractors once thought it impossible for a female-led superhero film to be successful, 2017's Wonder Woman has become the one shining example of what actually works, and what audiences will pay to see on the big screen. It helps, of course, that Warner Bros. and DC committed to a strong, dynamic, even historic character such as Wonder Woman with an equally powerful and noteworthy cast and crew, including star Gal Gadot and director Patty Jenkins.
With a hotly-anticipated sequel scheduled to hit theaters on Nov. 1, 2019, Wonder Woman's proof of concept should tell DC something -- that, as CBR just recently opined, perhaps DC's cinematic universe doesn't need a Superman, or even a male-led superteam at all!