Henry Cavill has played Superman in three DC Extended Universe films, but Cavill believes “Justice League” was the first to bring his Superman much closer to the traditional, fun-loving version of the character fans recognize from DC comic books.
“Justice League” was always meant to conclude Superman’s arc that began in “Man of Steel” when he put on the red and blue tights for the first time. However, audiences were divided on Zack Snyder’s moodier, angst-ridden portrayal of the character. Warner Bros. felt pressure to course-correct after the reception to “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” which meant a soft reboot was in order.
Superman’s death in “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” was both literal and figurative. It meant Superman could have a new lease on life, more hopeful and optimistic with a colorful personality to boot. The vast majority of Cavill’s Superman scenes were reshot and rewritten by Joss Whedon after Zack Snyder’s family tragedy forced him to exit the project.
In “Justice League: The Art of the Film,” Cavill shares his thoughts on the DCEU’s Superman finally starting to resemble the Superman everyone knows and loves and getting to do the role justice.
“For me, [Justice League] in particular has really drawn closer to the Superman character who we know and recognize from the comic books. I’ve enjoyed playing that enormously, playing that character of hope and optimism, inspiration and example.”
“Justice League” gives a taste of the Superman we can expect in future DCEU entries. It’s possible Cavill could appear in “Flashpoint,” but he is only contracted to play Superman one more time and is keen on “Man of Steel 2” telling “a character-driven, complex story” that would “show Superman in his full colors.” There’s been no official announcements made regarding a “Man of Steel 2,” but there is talk of Matthew Vaughn directing it, who worked with Cavill on “Stardust.”