Henry Cavill isn't returning as Superman – but his next project could be an ideal fit

Superman screams out as he kills General Zod in Man of Steel
Henry Cavill's Superman won't be part of the new DCU after all. (Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

Update: It seems TechRadar was bang on the money with one of our "what's next for Henry Cavill" suggestions!

Per Deadline, Cavill is fielding multiple movie and TV roles from various studios – one of which includes a Warhammer 40,000 project. According to the report, Amazon Studios is developed a movie based on the fan-favorite tabletop game and, given Cavill's own love for the hobby-cum-RPG franchise, he'd be perfect for such a role, in our view.

Near the bottom of this article, which we wrote yesterday (December 15), we mentioned that a Warhammer-centric production would be an ideal candidate for Cavill's next project. If Deadline's report is true, we'll certainly revel in the fact that one of our suggestions was proven correct. With this amount of foresight, maybe we should buy a lottery ticket for this weekend...

Original story follows. Additionally, major spoilers follow for Black Adam and Spider-Man: No Way Home.

It's the end of an era (again), Superman fans – Henry Cavill won't be returning as the Man of Steel in the revamped DC Universe (DCU).

Confirmed by Cavill and new co-head of DC Studios James Gunn on social media, the popular actor won't be donning Superman's iconic red cape going forward. Yep, it's like a kryptonite dagger to the hearts of DC fans everywhere.

The shock revelation comes just two months after Cavill's return as Superman in Black Adam's post-credits scene. Cavill's appearance heavily implied that he had signed on to reprise his famous role in the DCU, aka the rebooted version of the increasingly disconnected DC Extended Universe (DCEU). If you're interested, you can find out how to watch the DCEU movies in order using our authoritative guide. You know, before that cinematic universe is shuttered for good.

Anyway, back to Cavill's Superman. There was even speculation that Man of Steel 2 was in development – with Cavill set to star – following his Black Adam cameo as part of Gunn and co-head Peter Safran's DCU masterplan. 

However, recent rumors suggested that Man of Steel 2 was not moving forward after all, and that Cavill might not even return. And now, in a lengthy Twitter thread, Gunn confirmed these reports to be true. Instead, Gunn and Safran are moving forward with a young Superman movie, one which Cavill isn't a part of, which all but confirms the door has slammed shut on his time as Clark Kent.

With his Superman era seemingly over, what's next for Cavill?

For starters, a shock return to Netflix's Witcher-Verse is incredibly unlikely.

In November, Cavill revealed he wouldn't be reprising his role as Geralt of Rivia after the fantasy show's next installment – The Witcher season 3 – is released in mid-2023. No official reason for Cavill's departure has been given, but industry insiders have claimed he didn't see eye to eye with The Witcher's creative team about the show deviating from the source material. He'll be replaced by Liam Hemsworth from season 4 onwards, and showrunner Lauren Hissrich says she "fully understands" why the show's fanbase is outraged over Cavill's exit

Whatever the reasons are for Cavill laying down Geralt's sword, we'd be amazed if he performs a U-turn and returns to one of the best Netflix shows (in our view, anyway). It wouldn't be fair to wrestle this opportunity away from Hemsworth, particularly if he's signed a multi-year deal to star as Geralt – assuming, that is, that the series is renewed for more seasons. Additionally, if Cavill wasn't enthused with the creative direction of Netflix's Witcher series, his return could be interpreted as him groveling for his old job back, especially if his current options are limited.

An actor of Cavill's caliber won't be out of a job for long, though, so don't bet on him riding back to the Continent.

Geralt and Ciri sharing a tender moment in The Witcher season 2

Don't expect Cavill to make a shock return as Geralt. (Image credit: Susie Allnutt/Netflix)

What else could suit Cavill, then? He's regularly been linked with assuming the mantle of James Bond – read up on how to watch the James Bond movies in order – so could a turn as 007 be on the cards?

Again, we're going to file this under "extremely unlikely". Sure, Cavill would make a great Bond. He's got the physicality, charisma, and quintessential Britishness to pull off the role with aplomb. However, at 39 years old, you've got to question whether he's the right age to play Bond for an extended period of time, while Bond producer Barbara Broccoli is on record as saying she wants the franchise's next actor to make a "10 to 12 year commitment" to the role.

Would Cavill want to follow in Daniel Craig's footsteps (who was also 39 when he signed on to play Bond for the first time), and be committed to another iconic role for multiple movies? Probably not, in our view. Besides, he's already slated to star in Argylle, an upcoming spy movie for Apple TV Plus. Would Cavill really want to be associated with two espionage-positioned franchises?

So how about a TV project that wouldn't lock Cavill into an overly long multi-year deal, and would be a live-action adaptation of one of his favorite videogame franchises?

Step forward Mass Effect. In December 2021, Cavill told TechRadar he'd "be interested" in starring as Commander Shepherd in a potential Mass Effect TV series if the opportunity arose. Cavill's revelation came after rumors surfaced online – based on one of his Instagram posts, no less – that he was set to star in a Mass Effect TV show on Prime Video.

Amazon Studios is slowly accumulating an exciting slate of TV adaptations of fan-favorite video games. A live-action Fallout series is in development and, just last night (December 14), a TV show based on 2018's multi-award winning God of War was announced for Prime Video. Why not add Mass Effect to the pile and hire Cavill to star in it? That would be a huge coup for Amazon if it ended up being the case, especially as Amazon would be seen to have snapped up one of Netflix's most marketable stars in the wake of his departure from The Witcher.

Speaking of the competition, Marvel could get one over by DC by snapping Cavill up for an MCU role. Cavill has previously denied claims he was set to play Hyperion in Loki season 2, but there's sure to be a role that's perfect for him (even if it's a one-off performance) as part of Marvel's cinematic juggernaut. How about Sentry, who is rumored to be the villain of upcoming Marvel Phase 5 film Thunderbolts? Cavill has experience for playing bad guys – albeit slight experience – with his turn as August Walker in Mission Impossible: Fallout his most famous antagonistic role. If he was hired as someone like Sentry, then, seeing Cavill as a villain wouldn't be an alien concept to viewers.

If we're staying in geek territory, why not cast Cavill as the lead in a new live-action Warhammer movie? He's a huge fan of the tabletop game – surely it would be a dream of his (and Warhammer fans worldwide) to star in a film based on Games Workshop's fantasy-based series or its Warhammer 40,000 alternative?

Lastly, why not just bring him back as Superman? In his Twitter thread, Gunn confirmed he and Cavill have discussed other DCU opportunities that might be right for the actor. Well, the Man of Steel is already perfect for him. And, if the DCU eventually explores its own multiverse (discounting the DCEU's own take on that, of course), Cavill's Superman could make a crowd-pleasing return in the future as part of any multiversal team up. 

Spider-Man: No Way Home did an amazing (pun intended) job of bringing Tom Holland, Tobey Maguire, and Andrew Garfield's Spider-Men together on the big screen. Meanwhile, Sony's Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and its upcoming Across the Spider-Verse sequel, plus the MCU, are all currently exploring comic book-based multiverses. Why wouldn't DC take a leaf out of Marvel and Sony's books and do likewise in the DCU and allow Cavill to return one final time? Over you, James and Peter.

For more DC-based content, read up on how to watch the Batman movies in order. Alternatively, find out which DCEU movies made it onto our best superhero movies list.

Senior Entertainment Reporter

As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.

An NCTJ-accredited journalist, Tom also writes reviews, analytical articles, opinion pieces, and interview-led features on the biggest franchises, actors, directors and other industry leaders. You may see his quotes pop up in the odd official Marvel Studios video, too, such as this Moon Knight TV spot.

Away from work, Tom can be found checking out the latest video games, immersing himself in his favorite sporting pastime of football, reading the many unread books on his shelf, staying fit at the gym, and petting every dog he comes across. Got a scoop, interesting story, or an intriguing angle on the latest news in entertainment? Feel free to drop him a line.