Editorial: The Lost Son Of Krypton: Where Is Henry Cavill In The BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN Shuffle?
Batman vs. Superman is the sequel to Man of Steel. That statement is something that seems to have been lost in recent months with all the announcements and rumors regarding the Zack Snyder flick that will basically determine if DC gets a larger cinematic universe. Let’s start off with what we actually know about the film: 1.) Snyder is directing, Goyer wrote the script, and Chris Terrio (Argo) will be doing some rewrites 2.) Ben Affleck is Batman 3.) Gal Gadot is Wonder Woman 4.) Henry Cavill is Superman. Now #4 is supposed to be the star of the show, but he’s been pushed out of the spotlight and nearly forgotten as we’ve gotten ‘shiny‘ and ‘new‘ pieces of news. Where is Henry Cavill and will he ever be able to get back in the spotlight for the film that is supposed to be the sequel to HIS movie?
Cavill had the spotlight all to himself before, during, and just after the release of Man of Steel. We were all excited to hear him speak in his British accent and regal us with tells of filming the reboot and what he would like to do next. Then Comic Con happened. Batman vs. Superman was announced, the entire world went wild, and we waited for Batman news. Batman news came. The world went wild again and riots broke out over Batfleck. That eventually calmed down, then Wonder Woman was announced. Then there were were rumors about Nightwing, Lex Luthor, Brainiac, Doomsday, Lobo, Joaquin Phoenix being eyed for a role, Jason Momoa was too. Cavill was relegated to getting asked what he thought about Affleck coming aboard. The last time we saw him in full force was the Blu-ray/DVD release fan chat hosted by Kevin Smith. That was a disaster.
Cavill was linked via satellite to Smith, Snyder, and Amy Adams to field questions from Smith and fans all across the world. Cavill got about 2 questions. Even Kevin Smith joked about making Cavill wake up so early to only be starring blankly at a camera, not getting to talk, while getting to hear all the things they were talking about with a 15 second delay. That went on for an hour and a half.
Since then it’s been all Batfleck and rumor central with no one even trying to figure out what Cavill is doing differently with the character. We saw Superman kind of become Superman and start to become the hero we know (toward the very end. Let’s not start the neck snapping debate again), but the sequel is supposed to see him move on from that and grow up into the Superman we want. It’s going to be hard to do that when you have to completely integrate other DC heavy hitters. Regardless of how many minutes they get on the screen, that’s precious time. We got Superman but we didn’t get a fully fleshed out and complete character. It’s going to be harder to do that now.
Cavill is staying busy filming The Man From U.N.C.L.E. with Armie Hammer, so that explains some of his time in the shadows. Regardless, he’s getting pushed further and further to the back of the room. The jockeying for position has already ended. Affleck has pulled some weight and gotten his Argo scribe in for rewrites. That’s not reading too much into anything. Affleck obviously gets some power or he would have never agreed to be Batman. In recent trade reports he’s even called the star of the film with “Henry Cavill and Amy Adams also starring.” Ouch! That’s rough. Superman can’t even get top billing IN HIS OWN SEQUEL.
Now you may be thinking “the movie doesn’t come out until 2015, this isn’t a problem.” And you would be partially correct. But the thing is, Cavill is and should be the star of the show, the king of the comic book heroes, but he’s now the ‘old‘ toy. We’ve got the shiny, new Wonder Woman and the refurbished Batman coming up. There’s only going to be more roles confirmed between now and when filming wraps. Those will be shinier and newer. Superman has become fifth fiddle at his own concert. It’s odd and it’s troubling, but it’s true. Does it stem from the divisive nature of Man of Steel? Is this a “sequel” in the sense that it follow up from Man of Steel only? Does Warner Bros. not have a huge amount of faith in the Last Son of Krypton? Jor-El told his son “You will give the people an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you, they will stumble, they will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun.” That’s all fine and dandy ghost dad, but this is Hollywood. Your boy needs to get his power from the spotlight. You get to lay about in the sun after you establish yourself as the standout of a constantly expanding cast. You can do it Cavill! Finish up U.N.C.L.E. and start talking more about Superman! Don’t let the Bat push you around anymore!