DC Studios CEO James Gunn who also happens to be the writer and director for the upcoming Superman: Legacy film recently stated he “was never making a ‘young Superman’ movie despite previously asserting the reason he canned Henry Cavill was due to his age.
Back in December 2022, Gunn seemed to make it crystal clear that his main reason for firing Henry Cavill from the role of Superman was because of his age.
He posted on Twitter, “In the initial stages, our story will be focusing on an earlier part of Superman’s life, so the character will not be played by Henry Cavill.”
A day after noting his movie was focusing “on an earlier part of Superman’s life,” Gunn asserted that Henry was fired because “he’s a different age.”
Gunn tweeted, “As I said yesterday, it is very simple, he’s a different age.”
In response to another user questioning Gunn’s narrative that the film was not an origin story, Gunn asserted, “He’s not meeting the major characters for the first time, either. He’s merely younger.”
However, by the end of January, Gunn had begun attempting to shift the narrative he initially created around why Henry Cavill was fired.
First, he told The Hollywood Reporter that Cavill wasn’t fired despite Cavill cameoing in Black Adam as Superman and then announcing his return to the character on Instagram. A little over a month after that initial announcement, Cavill would inform his followers he would not be returning to the role.
Gunn said, “We didn’t fire Henry. Henry was never cast. 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.”
As for why, he said, “I like Henry, I think he’s a great guy. I think he’s getting dicked around by a lot of people, including the former regime at this company. But this Superman is not Henry, for a number of reasons.”
Of note, Gunn’s reasoning here did not include Henry’s age at all despite making multiple tweets about it just a month earlier. Gunn was attempting to shift the narrative.
Gunn continued that narrative shift in March when he responded to a casting rumor that claimed Gunn was looking for actors to play Superman, Lois Lane, and Jimmy Olsen in their 20s.
He said, “Untrue. We haven’t begun casting other than making lists, and it’s not limited to people in their twenties.”
Gunn would eventually cast David Corenswet to play Superman. At the time of the casting announcement he was 29. However, he has since turned 30. Henry Cavill had just turned 40 at the time of the casting announcement.
Given Corenswet’s casting and Gunn’s clear shift in the narrative, it was already looking like something else was a motivating factor as to why Henry Cavill was fired from Superman aside from his age given Hollywood routinely has older actors play younger and younger actors play older. It’s acting after all.
Gunn would complete the shift in the narrative in a recent response to a fan asking about Jaime Reyes knowing who Superman is in the Blue Beetle film.
Gunn said, “I was never making a ‘young Superman’ movie, just a Superman movie!”
This is Gunn obviously playing semantic games because he most definitely said his Superman was “younger” and that it would be focusing on an “earlier part of Superman’s life.”
It’s not hard to put two and two together and realize he was indeed talking about a “young Superman” especially when he claimed the biggest issue was Cavill’s age back in December.
Given this complete change in the narrative it also raises further questions as to why he actually fired Henry Cavill.
What do you make of Gunn’s new narrative that he’s not “making a ‘young Superman’ movie now?”