With the recent news of a Superman reboot coming from JJ Abrams as producer and Ta-Nehisi Coates writing the script, it appears that Henry Cavill‘s time as the Man of Steel has come to an end.
Rumor has it that the story will focus on the character of Calvin Ellis (who has the Kryptonian name of Kalel) but that is pure speculation since nothing more than this announcement has occurred. No story details have been leaked and I would imagine any details that do exist only exist in broad strokes. The character of Calvin Ellis is a version of Superman from the DC Multiversity and is African-American. Fans of comics may know the name, but the general public does not.
The issue here is not the lack of awareness from the public of the character. The issue is that fans have been asking for a Man of Steel II for quite some time now and Warner Bros. has decided not to do that. And it seems to me that those calls were getting louder the closer we got to the release of the Snyder Cut of Justice League, but Warner Bros. slipped in an announcement about the reboot coming from JJ Abrams’s Bad Robot when they did not think it would not be noticed too much after the premiere of Superman & Lois. WRONG!
Cavill was a great choice for Superman. He looked the part, and he is able to channel that big blue Boy Scout tone that is a hallmark of the character. He is not a great thespian, but he is a competent actor. His three outings as the character were good even if the final one as the Supes as of this writing was largely helmed by Whedon in a disjointed film.
I do not have a good feeling towards Abrams and him coming in contact with any legacy property. Why you ask? Star Trek 2009 for starters. I am not upset that he was brought on to Star Trek. Rather I am upset that even though he was not a fan of Star Trek he did not take the time out to understand Star Trek despite being put in charge of it. He decided to do his best to convert it into Star Wars and while Star Wars is fine it is most certainly not Star Trek. His two films were shallow films heavy on spectacle and short on depth. Depth and big questions and internal logic are important parts of Star Trek and his movies really lack that.
He turned Khan into a perturbed Brit and his use of Section 31 shows that he did not know what Section 31 was beyond catching the name somewhere. He treated Kirk as a hormone addled boob and did a teenage level romance between Spock and Uhura. He reportedly said he was not a fan of Star Trek and preferred Star Wars over Star Trek. And that is fine. Again, the issue is he did not understand the material or appreciate the material or take the time out to understand the material.
Star Trek was his audition for audition for Star Wars and it apparently worked because he did two of the three new films. The Force Awakens was okay. The Rise of Skywalker was okay. At least in comparison to the previous six films, the two Star Wars stories, and the Ewok TV films. And The Clone Wars theatrical released pilot too. The issue is here too Abrams did not take the time to understand the material or bring in those that did. He was still the little kid that was focused on lightsabers and cool battles. At no point did Rey have a hero’s journey like Luke did. She wanted to stay home to wait for parents who obviously were not returning and then she kind of gave up on that and decided to join the Resistance.
Ultimately what it comes down to is that fans want more Henry Cavill. They want to see his iteration of the character continue in at least one more film. Rebooting so soon after the last reboot is a bad idea. Fans are not at a point where they are hungry for a new Superman film with a new actor. They want a new Superman film with the last actor.
Fans have been asking for Henry Cavill back in a sequel to Man of Steel since Man of Steel came out. I remember some even getting excited thinking he was going to be in Shazam with a cameo but that turned out to be a stunt double or something in the costume. People want Henry Cavill back in. Give the fans what they want!
In the end I just do not think Warner Bros. knows what it is doing. They are stumbling around trying to get the Marvel magic when that takes a little time and a better marketing machine than they have. Fans do not want a reboot right now. They want a continuation. Let’s get that first.