Henry Cavill’s Superman era was supreme in its entirety. The introduction of Zack Snyder’s DC Extended Universe which boasts of an incredible launch began with Man of Steel, a film that still resonates with the world of CBM franchise devotees as one of the greatest cinematic masterpieces ever made. However, the amount of sweat and hard work that went into making it the success that it was is paramount and Henry Cavill can attest to that.
Henry Cavill Relates His Experience as Snyder’s Superman
Zack Snyder is a genius and a visionary and the one hurdle that almost all great minds cannot step across is compromise. In the director’s case, the compromise would affect his creative license and artistic vision. Man of Steel was an analysis of the depths of Superman’s psyche and his journey into becoming a god and savior from a boy scout who tried to stay obedient to his Earthly father’s last wish. The first film thus defined for the actor and the director a road map of everything that Superman is supposed to encapsulate.
For Henry Cavill, the SnyderVerse Superman was one who would defy his tragically suppressed life and learn from his experiences to become a more mature and wiser version of Superman than was initially shown.
“The beautiful bit is that, even though he has restrained himself, and lived this life of loneliness, essentially, he’s still willing to step out of the shadows and become the hero, despite the fact that it’s gonna have a negative impact on his life. And that, I think, is the aspect of that symbol of hope, he’s representing everything that is good about mankind, despite the fact that mankind may not be good to him.”
The Dissatisfaction of Henry Cavill With His Superman Arc
The problem for Henry Cavill is that the deconstruction of the Superman that he had envisioned and the hero that Snyder attempted to portray clash at one major juncture — the latter moved too fast with the story. According to Cavill, there was a lot that he was “keen to flesh out” in his character’s development arc before going down the road of “bad Superman” and his eventual submission under Darkseid’s Anti0Life Equation.
“[Man of Steel] was set up so wonderfully, to begin that journey, because he had had his first outing against the last surviving member of his species, and had to kill him. And that is going to inform a lot of who he becomes. The terrible destruction of Metropolis where he is fighting someone who has the same powers as him, but actually has training, and he barely makes it out of the [fight] alive. So, what lessons has he learned?
He definitely isn’t gonna kill anymore, and he’s definitely going to make sure that population centers are completely removed from the equation, cuz now he’s experienced it, now he’s thinking about it. And so we get those steps towards building that — that incredible, wise version of Superman, rather than the still wet behind the ears kind.”
However, as we know, the events of Man of Steel directly leads to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2015), and the intermediate moment of character development that the actor was keen to explore was missing. Cavill’s dissatisfaction stems from the timeline of SnyderVerse and that becomes one of the primary reasons why he was so very interested in working on Man of Steel 2.