Henry Cavill's Superman Return Can Avoid A Man Of Steel Villain Problem

The DCEU could sidestep an issue in the perception of Superman having few villains with Henry Cavill's established Superman returning. Following the recent Warner Bros.-Discovery merger, the studio's plans for DC as a cinematic IP are being re-examined by the newly formed studio. Reported internal discussions have identified Superman as a priority for the company, and this could mean good things for Cavill's future in the role.

In a recent article in The Wrap, an anonymous DC insider commented that the studio "should scratch every Superman project in development" in favor of Henry Cavill donning the cape again. Should Warner Bros-Discovery elect to go this route, Cavill's Man of Steel has the added benefit of being able to introduce different Superman villains in a cinematic context. This has actually been something of a recurring challenge for the Last Son of Krypton.


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Since the Christopher Reeve Superman era, Kal-El's go-to big-screen villains having long been Lex Luthor and Superman's fellow Kryptonian General Zod. Meanwhile, as an unintended byproduct, Superman has had to battle a perceived lack of a strong rogue's gallery of villains in his public perception. This began to change in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Zack Snyder's Justice League, which respectively introduced Doomsday (Robin Atkin Downes), Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds), and Darkseid (Ray Porter). However, Superman has a wide assortment of different villains, such as Brainiac, Bizarro, Metallo, the Eradicator, Ultraman, Parasite, and others who haven't yet gotten a chance at cinematic glory. Henry Cavill's return could well change that.

1 Superman Villain Is Perfect For Man Of Steel 2

Henry Cavill in Batman v Superman

Having Cavill return as Superman, ideally in a movie set between Man of Steel and Batman v Superman, would eliminate the need for any ground-up introduction to a new Superman. As an off-shoot of that, it would also open the door for his underutilized rogue's gallery apart from Lex Luthor and General Zod to be mined. Depending on the story being told, Brainiac, Bizarro, or Parasite would be some of the best candidates, and Bizarro could even bring an additional advantage.

As a Superman doppelgänger with a wildly varied character history, Bizarro has been adapted in numerous different ways in Superman shows such as Superman: The Animated Series, Smallville, and Superman & Lois, which have used his rogue's gallery more liberally than his movies. Given his powers and resemblance to Kal-El, an interim movie between Man of Steel and Batman v Superman could use Bizarro as a villain who ends up fueling the distrust much of the world comes to hold towards Superman despite his heroism in Batman v Superman. This could even be an added driver to the motivation and paranoia of Ben Affleck's Batman to what eventually becomes his rage-filled quest to destroy the Man of Steel.

The lack of Superman on the big screen in the past few years has been a glaring omission in the DCEU's hero roster. Warner Bros-Discovery seems to be recognizing this issue with great clarity, and their analysis of it could potentially lead to Henry Cavill's much-asked-for return as the Man of Tomorrow. The added upside to this would be that by having Cavill come back, other Superman villains could finally get their start on celluloid (and hopefully set up Cavill's Superman battling Dwayne Johnson's Black Adam, too.)

NEXT: Henry Cavill Is Right About Superman Killing Zod In Man Of Steel

Key Release Dates
  • DC League of Super-Pets (2022)Release date: Jul 29, 2022
  • Black Adam (2022)Release date: Oct 21, 2022
  • Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2022)Release date: Dec 21, 2022
  • Batgirl (2022)Release date: Jul 11, 2022
  • Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (2023)Release date: Mar 17, 2023
  • The Flash (2023)Release date: Jun 23, 2023
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  • man of steel
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About The Author Brad Curran (883 Articles Published)

Growing up, Brad developed an innate love of movies and storytelling, and was instantly enamored with the world of adventure while following the exploits of Indiana Jones, Japanese kaiju, and superheroes. Today, Brad channels his thoughts on all manner of movies, from comic book films, sci-fi thrillers, comedies, and everything in between through his writings on Screen Rant. Brad also offers philosophical musings on martial arts and the filmographies of everyone from Jackie Chan to Donnie Yen on Kung Fu Kingdom, where he's also had the privilege of interviewing many of the world's great stunt professionals, and hearing plenty of gripping stories on injuries incurred in their line of work and the intricacies of designing the acts of death defiance he first thrilled to as a youngster. When he's not writing, Brad enjoys going on a ride with the latest action hit or Netflix original, though he's also known to just pop in "The Room" from time to time. Follow Brad on Twitter @BradCurran.

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