Ever since the release of Justice League, the future of the so-called DC Extended Universe has been plagued by question marks. Movies have been announced almost every other month, but few actually seem to be gaining any sort of traction. For example, a year ago, a solo movie starring Cyborg was on Warner Bros.’ superhero schedule. However, Victor Stone actor Ray Fisher has recently indicated the movie likely won’t happen after all due to budget restrictions. The bottom line is, outside of the movies Warner Bros. already has in production, Aquaman, Shazam! and Wonder Woman 1984, there’s very little that is concrete about the DCEU heading into 2020.
While director Matt Reeves is writing and directing a Batman solo film, there have been increasing rumors that Ben Affleck will not return to the role of the Caped Crusader. According to reports, Reeve’s Batman will be set in the past and feature a younger Bruce Wayne fighting crime in his prime. While nothing has been officially announced, it’s been widely assumed that Affleck is now done with the role of Batman, with rumors and reports constantly beating the drum about who Warner Bros. is talking with to take over as the next Dark Knight.
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Throughout the increasing uncertainty, there were still a few things that fans still considered as a lock… like the presence of Henry Cavill’s Superman. However, one of the most important pillars of the DCEU was apparently knocked down when it was reported that Cavill and Warner Bros. had reached an impasse in negotiating the actor’s future appearances as the Last Son of Krypton, talks that ended with Cavill walking away from the role. This is a crushing blow for fans of the DCEU, who have had to watch as DC’s cinematic universe apparently crumbles from all sides. Losing Batman was bad, for sure. But losing Superman is much, much worse.
Superman is not only one of the most important characters in DC’s pantheon of superheroes, he’s a fan-favorite that constitutes one-third of the DC Trinity, a fact even more important in cinematic universe than in the comics. In the DCEU, Cavill’s Superman wasn’t just one of the main pillars — he was the entire foundation. After all, the DCEU was born in 2013 with the release of Man of Steel and further established the cinematic universe in the sequel Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, a film that ended with Clark Kent making the ultimate sacrifice to save mankind. The events of that film would have repercussions that would be felt in Suicide Squad, and while Justice League was a team effort, much of the story of the film was centered around bringing Superman back to life.
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