It’s a new chapter for Superman — just not the one we were expecting. After announcing a return to the franchise, Henry Cavill took to Instagram on Wednesday, December 14, to confirm that he actually isn’t. “I have just had a meeting with James Gunn and Peter Safran and it’s sad news, everyone,” the Enola Holmes star, 39, wrote in an official statement to his 23 million followers on the platform. “I will, after all, not be returning as Superman. After being told by the studio to announce my return back in October, prior to their hire, this news isn’t the easiest, but that’s life.”
Henry then graciously ceded the role and defended the decision. “The changing of the guard is something that happens. I respect that,” the Tudors actor 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.” Most importantly, he added, Superman lives, regardless of the change. “Superman is still around,” he wrote in part. “Everything he stands for still exists, and the examples he sets for us are still there! My turn to wear the cape has passed, but what Superman stands for never will. It’s been a fun ride with you all, onwards and upwards.”
The shock seems to have been compounded by the fact that Henry appeared in a pointed cameo in Black Adam, seemingly solidifying his re-entry into the role. He also fully announced that he would reprise the role in an October Instagram video. “I wanted to make it official that I am back as Superman,” he said in part.
Many of Henry’s followers headed to the comments thread to show the actor love. Among them was Aquaman star Jason Momoa. “Love u brother,” he wrote alongside a row of heart emojis, while Shazam star Zachary Levi remarked, “Hope to catch you in another universe, sir.”
Some fans, however, were less guarded in their disappointment. “How do they expect to make the DC better with this reboot when you’re not even returning as the man of steel?” one follower lamented. “The reboot hasn’t even started and it’s already flopping.”
Still others were clearly looking ahead, just as The Witcher icon had asked them to. “You were an incredible Superman, Henry, and your version was the basis on my take on the character in the comics,” a follower wrote. “Here’s to your next Adventure! Long live Superman!”