Henry Cavill’s days as Superman were numbered before he ever shot the post-credit scene in Black Adam. James Gunn revealed the big surprise on Twitter that he was hired by Warner Discovery to write Superman: Legacy “over six months ago” – placing the start of its development and green lighting before Black Adam’s release and while Cavill was prepping for the film.
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Asked about other films that are part of the slate under development, such as Creature Commandos, Gunn clarified Superman: Legacy was in the works along with the Commandos long before he and Peter Safran were hired to head the revamped DC Studios. Explaining the projects weren’t “THAT fast-tracked,” he added Legacy was meant to be a separate one.
He would follow up with further clarification he was indeed hired half a year ago to write the new Superman movie which was assumed to be in development simultaneously with Man of Steel 2 and the Elseworlds Black Superman written by Ta-Nehisi Coates and produced by JJ Abrams. The Man of Steel sequel was canceled and Cavill has since been ousted.
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Via THR, Gunn attempted to explain at a press event last month that Cavill was not fired or under contract at all. “We didn’t fire Henry. Henry was never cast,” he said. “For me, it’s about who do I want to cast as Superman and who do the filmmakers we have want to cast. And for me, for this story, it isn’t Henry.”
He added that Cavill is “a great guy” who fell victim to being “d–ked around” by the old bosses of Warner and DC Films. “I like Henry, I think he’s a great guy. I think he’s getting d–ked around by a lot of people, including the former regime at this company. But this Superman is not Henry, for a number of reasons,” Gunn said.
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This begs the question of why Zaslav and the Warner Discovery people would allow Cavill to return and proudly make his announcement. Numerous people on Twitter expressed this to Gunn.
One questioned, “Could you please tell us why Cavill went out to the world to tell everyone he is back as Superman to only find out weeks later that he isn’t? Yes, you were hired to write a script 6 mo. ago but you had to have known the CEO job was yours & that Cavill wasn’t in fact Superman..”
Another asked, “Six months ago! Then why did they have Cavill cameo in black Adam if you were already working on a new Superman?”
Still another questioned, “Six months? Yet Cavill was brought in, told he was back as Superman and we the audience rejoiced and it was never a thing to begin with? I feel like Cavill and the audience where swindled big time here.”
It could be that Gunn was to blame for worming his way into power but the general chaos at DC appears to have facilitated the debacle. Dwayne Johnson reportedly went around executives to get Cavill in Black Adam, for instance.
Other Elseworld projects, meanwhile, are “actively happening,” according to Gunn, and slipping through the cracks. Among them are Constantine 2 with the makers of the 2005 film returning and the aforementioned Abrams/Coates-brand Superman. It’s like Gunn said at the outset of his DCU announcement: “It’s been a real f–ed up journey for DC,” and nobody was “minding the mint.”
“The history has been sh–t,” Gunn declared via Cosmic Book News. “…there was basically no one minding the mint and they were giving out IP to any creatives that…smiled at whoever was in charge. There was never any real power given to the people in charge. And so somebody could always go over their head and do whatever they wanted.”
What do you make of Gunn revealing Superman: Legacy was greenlit over 6 months ago?
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