James Gunn has denied sacking Henry Cavill from the role of Superman.
Gunn, who recently became the co-chairman and co-CEO of DC Studios alongside Peter Safran, said on Tuesday (January 31) that they didn’t fire Cavill, but rather he simply wasn’t hired for future projects.
He made the comments after announcing a number of new DC movies and TV shows, including a reboot of the Superman franchise which will be titled Superman: Legacy.
“We didn’t fire Henry,” said Gunn (via Deadline). “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.”
He added: “I like Henry, I think he’s a great guy. I think he’s getting [messed] around by a lot of people, including the former regime at this company. But this Superman is not Henry, for a number of reasons.”
In December, Cavill revealed he would not be returning to the role of Superman following a meeting with Gunn and Safran. He’d previously announced in October that he would be reprising the role, as per DC’s orders.
“I have just had a meeting with James Gunn and Peter Safran and it’s sad news, everyone,” Cavill – who starred as Clark Kent in 2013’s Man of Steel, 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and 2017’s Justice League – wrote in a statement on December 15. “I will, after all, not be returning as Superman.”
“The changing of the guard is something that happens. I respect that,” Cavill continued. “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.”
Gunn later confirmed that the new Superman film will focus on an “earlier part” of Clark Kent’s life. “But we just had a great meeting with Henry and we’re big fans and we talked about a number of exciting possibilities to work together in the future,” he added.
Superman: Legacy, which Gunn says will mark “the true beginning of the DCU”, is currently scheduled for release in 2025.
In a video shared on his social media channels, Gunn revealed his plans for the first phase of the new DCU, explaining how The Flash will completely reset the DC cinematic universe. You can watch the video here.