Henry Cavill Out as Superman, Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman on Hold: All About the DC Shakeups — So Far

DC Studios co-CEO James Gunn said they "know we are not going to make every single person happy every step of the way" as they reconfigure the superhero franchise

Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Henry Cavill as Superman and Ben Affleck as Batman
Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot and Henry Cavill. Photo: DC Entertainment/Warner Bros/Shutterstock, WARNER BROS/Moviestore/Shutterstock, Warner Bros/Dc Comics/Kobal/Shutterstock

Things are changing among the big-screen DC superheroes.

In October, Guardians of the Galaxy and The Suicide Squad director James Gunn and producer Peter Safran were announced as the new co-CEOs of DC Studios, formerly known as DC Films, at Warner Bros. With the new leadership has come startling changes and announcements about the future of the franchises.

Gunn, 56, tweeted Dec. 8 that "building the next ten years of story takes time & we're still just beginning," and he admitted that he and Safran knew "we were coming into a fractious environment." Gunn warned there would be "an unavoidable transitional period as we moved into telling a cohesive story across film, TV, animation and gaming."

"But, in the end, the drawbacks of that transitional period were dwarfed by the creative possibilities & the opportunity to build upon what has worked in DC so far & to help rectify what has not," he wrote, adding, "We know we are not going to make every single person happy every step of the way, but we can promise everything we do is done in the service of the STORY & in the service of the DC CHARACTERS we know you cherish and we have cherished our whole lives."

The director added that the team is "giving these characters & the stories the time & attention they deserve & we ourselves still have a lot more questions to ask & answer."

Prior to the new leadership, DC was undergoing a few alterations that caught fans and filmmakers off guard, including canceling the already-filmed Batgirl movie.

Read on for what we know so far about the future of DC movies.

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Patty Jenkins, Gal Gadot
Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot on the set of Wonder Woman 1984 (2020). Clay Enos/ Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Collection

Wonder Woman 3 Not Moving Forward as Planned

In early December, The Hollywood Reporter and multiple outlets reported that a Wonder Woman 3 script by director Patty Jenkins was rejected, putting the planned trilogy-concluder in question.

Gunn said on Twitter that "some of it is true, some of it is half-true, some of it is not true, & some of it we haven't decided yet whether it's true or not."

The reports came days after Gal Gadot (who was cast as Diana Prince, aka Wonder Woman, nine years ago) wrote on Instagram that she "can't wait to share her next chapter" of the character with fans.

Gadot, 37, added, "I've been so grateful for the opportunity to play such an incredible, iconic character and more than anything I'm grateful for YOU. The fans. The most amazing, warm, loving fans in the world. I'm still pinching myself to see if I will wake up."

Jenkins broke her silence on the reports, clarifying that she "never walked away" from the project and she was "open to considering anything asked of me."

She added, "I do not want what has been a beautiful journey with WW to land on [a] negative note. I have loved and been so honored to be the person who got to make these last two Wonder Woman films. She is an incredible character. Living in and around her values makes one a better person every day. I wish her and her legacy an amazing future ahead, with or without me."

Henry Cavill Says His Superman Will Be Joyful When Returns

Henry Cavill's Superman days are behind him

Henry Cavill, who debuted as Superman in 2013's Man of Steel and launched the subsequent DC movie series, showed up in a cameo during Dwayne Johnson's Black Adam movie in October. At the time, Cavill told fans on Instagram he was making a comeback to the role, and said in an interview days later that there was a "bright future ahead" for him as the character.

However, Gunn revealed that his team was moving forward with a Superman movie about the "earlier part" of the character's life and therefore he "will not be played by Henry Cavill." Gunn said he'd been writing the script for a while.

Cavill, 39, then shared a statement about the "sad" development, adding, "After being told by the studio to announce my return back in October, prior to [Gunn and Safran's] hire, this news isn't the easiest, but that's life."

He said he has "respect" for Gunn and Safran's decision not to bring him back, writing, "The changing of the guard is something that happens. I respect that. James and Peter have a universe to build. I wish them and all involved with the new universe the best of luck, and the happiest of fortunes."

Still, Gunn said they are still open to collaborating with Cavill: "We're big fans and we talked about a number of exciting possibilities to work together in the future."

ben affleck, batman
Ben Affleck as Batman. Warner Bros. Pictures /Courtesy Everett Collection

Ben Affleck could be back — to direct

Ben Affleck returns as Batman in the upcoming movie The Flash, in theaters June 16, and possibly Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, out Dec. 25, 2023. But the future of his days as the Caped Crusader beyond that is unclear.

Gunn, though, tweeted that he had met with Affleck, 50, "precisely because he wants to direct & we want him to direct; we just have to find the right project."

the bat man
Robert Pattinson in The Batman (2022). Jonathan Olley/Warner Bros.

Robert Pattinson's separate Batman won't be woven into the larger universe

Variety reported that DC Studios was considering potentially weaving Robert Pattinson's version of Bruce Wayne into the main cinematic universe. (He debuted in the part in director Matt Reeves' The Batman back in March, and a TV spin-off is in the works built around Colin Farrell as The Penguin.)

Gunn denied the report, though, calling it "entirely untrue."

The upcoming Joker sequel, with Joaquin Phoenix and Lady Gaga, has begun filming and seems to also remain separate from the extended universe.

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