Whether you like Zack Snyder’s grounded and emotional take on Superman in Man of Steel and Batman V Superman or not, almost everyone agrees that Henry Cavill has been the perfect casting as Superman. With all due respect to his predecessors, Cavill not only looks the part but has good acting range to bring the Big Blue Boy Scout to life on-screen. Despite starring in those polarizing but ultimately very successful movies, Warner Bros. is sitting on an easily marketable star and character with no immediate movies planned.
Since abandoning Snyder’s 5 movie Superman arc by releasing the mutilated Justice League, there have been reports of multiple names ranging from J.J Abrams to James Gunn and Christopher McQuarrie being asked to direct Superman. However, nothing has materialized.
As with any disaster, there is no one reason for this. Warner Bros. is to blame for their lack of vision with the character and DCEU as a whole, but there are also rumours that Cavill wants more creative control for the character, something Warner doesn’t want to give. Despite this, Cavill has been very diplomatic in this matter and has not answered whether he is still Superman or not.
Black Adam is the arch-nemesis of Shazam, often ranging from a villain to an anti-hero with a tragic past. His power set is the same as Shazam but he is more brutal and ruthless. The Rock has been slated to play this character since 2014 but somehow a movie has not yet materialized. However, things have moved forward recently with the Black Adam project finally finding their director in Jaume Collet-Sera and also a release date on December 24, 2021. The Rock has said that the movie will explore the ‘magic’ aspect of the DC mythos and will reportedly have other DC characters like members of the Justice Society of America, Hawkman, Dr Fate etc…
The last time we almost saw Henry Cavill as Superman was Shazam. It was always speculated that the Man of Steel would make an appearance since in the comics he’s always been a guide and friend for young Billy Batson, who turns into the adult hero Shazam. However, director David F. Sandberg had to make do with a body double and an infamous headless cameo since negotiations didn’t materialize.
Black Adam being in the same universe as Shazam/Superman and the DCEU is the perfect opportunity for Cavill to make a come back as Superman.
THE WAY FORWARD
THE SNYDER CUT OF JUSTICE LEAGUE
Zack Snyder’s Justice League and the story behind it is now a part of popular culture. Although there is no clarity yet, there have been rumours that behind the scenes discussion between AT&T (who owns Warner Bros. now) and Snyder’s people have been going on. Snyder has also been very cryptic and almost positive about the movie’s release in recent times. Due to the streaming wars heating up, especially because of the Coronavirus epidemic, AT&T’s HBO Max is in need of intriguing original content. Giving Snyder the required amount to complete some VFX and additional scenes don’t seem like a distant possibility. Any company would love to have such a highly anticipated movie on their service to draw in subscribers.
So assuming Snyder’s Netflix project Army of The Dead releases in 2020, early or mid-2021 feels like a good date for the release of his version of the Justice League. The cut has Cavill’s Superman coming back from the dead and becoming the Superman most people are familiar with. If the Snyder Cut releases in 2021, it resolves the issue of conveying the reason for his comeback from a story point of view. Moreover, Superman would be in people’s minds again and then him having a cameo in Black Adam later that year gives both properties a boost for the future.
THE PERFECT FIT
Superman appearing in a Black Adam makes perfect sense story-wise. He has already had a sort of cameo in the Shazam for the general audience to notice and he has fought Black Adam in the comics and animated films on different occasions, seeing this on the big screen would no doubt whet the appetite of fans. It is rumoured that Black Adam may take place in ancient Egypt and then in modern-day as well. If the movie were to end with Black Adam waking up from his tomb in the modern-day as Clark Kent going to investigate, then you have already set up one of the most anticipated Superhero sequels in recent times.
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The hierarchy of power in the DC Universe is about to change. Training and prep for #BlackAdam has been a grind but this passion project outweighs the sacrifices. Truth, justice and the Black Adam way. #eyeforaneye #antihero #blackadam⚡️ @jonbrandoncruz 📸 Shooting begins this summer
The Rock’s charisma and international star power are undoubted. His name itself would be enough to sell a superhero movie to general audiences, however, Rock has often shown in movies like Fast and Furious, Hobbs and Shaw, Jumanji, etc. that he likes to surround himself with a good supporting cast. He appears to be really passionate about the project and would do anything to really pack in the maximum marketing punch he can. A Superman/Clark Kent cameo or even a supporting role would make this movie a sure shot success.
It’s also to be noted that Cavill’s manager Dany Garcia is The Rock’s ex-wife and manager. If Garcia is indeed trying to work out a better deal for Cavill then what better chance is there than putting him in a movie starring her own superstar client. This could prove a way to soft reboot or re-introduce Superman and testing audience response before getting a solo project going. Since Cavill looks like he is busy shooting for The Witcher season 2 and some other projects, giving him a smaller role in Black Adam gives him time to work for his own solo later on.
Superman’s weakness to magic also presents an interesting opportunity to explore the unexplored territory in Black Adam. With the lacklustre performance of Birds of Prey and the lukewarm audience response to Shazam, his cameo or supporting role in Black Adam is the kind of lightning strike that could re-ignite the hype factor for DCEU.