One of the hot topics among DC fans heading into San Diego Comic-Con was whether Henry Cavill would make a surprise appearance to announce that he would be reprising his role as Superman. Those hopes were dashed when he failed to turn up at today’s Warner Bros. panel, leading to the speculation that someone else might don the famous cape.
Johnson seemed to confirm that Cavill wouldn’t be returning to the DCEU when he responded to whether Black Adam could defeat Superman in a fight.
“That’s a great question…don’t threaten me with a good time, cause I’m going to answer that question,” Johnson said. “Well, I will say, as you guys know, because we’re all in deep with this mythology, and it’s been an age-old question of who would win a fight between Black Adam and Superman. Pound for pound, they’re pretty close. I guess it probably all depends on who is playing Superman; I’m just going to say that. I’ll leave it at that.”
John’s response drew boos, as it seemed to suggest that the role was open and Cavill wouldn’t be playing Superman again. Black Adam director Jaume Collet-Serra also confirmed that neither Superman nor Shazam would be appearing in Black Adam.
“Our movie is an original story. By the time the movie ends, he doesn’t know who Shazam or Superman is,” Collet-Serra told Deadline.
Nevertheless, Johnson is still hinting that Superman could return to the DCEU sooner rather than later, even if he’s a different actor playing him. Speaking with IGN, Johnson brought up who else but Superman when he was asked what it really meant that the “hierarchy of power” in the DC Universe would be changing.
“The one who sits at the top of the DC Universe is Superman. The one who is scratching at his back is Black Adam,” Johnson said.
Asked whether that dynamic would hold after the movie, Johnson said, “I think so. That’s the fun part about the movies that we can make and being in the realm of DC and bringing life to a character who pound for pound is very close to Superman.
“And I always do like reminding people is that Superman has two weaknesses: Kryptonite and magic. Black Adam, one of his anchoring powers is magic. Now, there’s a lot of other elements involved, but I will tell you that that has been one of the most gratifying parts about making Black Adam. And I’m right there with all the fans — what if? What if this happened? What if this guy met this guy? Or what if this guy met this woman? What if.”
Every New DCEU Character According to Peacemaker
One way or another, Superman remains top of mind for many DC fans. Cavill’s version of the character last appeared in 2017’s Justice League, but 2021’s Snyder Cut helped bring him back into the spotlight. Cavill himself has sworn that he’s “still Superman” and that he hasn’t given up on the role.
Looking ahead to the DCEU’s future slate, Black Adam and Shazam! Fury of the Gods are both slated to arrive later this year, with Batgirl, Aquaman 2, The Flash, and Blue Beetle all arriving in 2023. The Flash is being framed as a major event for the DCEU, but it has been dragged down by the controversy surrounding Ezra Miller.
For now, Superman continues to be missing in action, and San Diego Comic-Con has done little to clarify the character’s future in the DCEU. But hey, there’s always Superman & Lois, right? In the meantime, keep an eye on everything announced during San Diego Comic-Con 2022 as the show continues.
Kat Bailey is a Senior News Editor at IGN as well as co-host of Nintendo Voice Chat. Have a tip? Send her a DM at @the_katbot.