Henry Cavill says he will not return as Superman

DC fans across the globe collectively mourned Wednesday as British actor Henry Cavill said he will no longer be donning the red cape as Superman in the DC Comics extended cinematic universe.

Fans were stunned as this comes after Cavill announced in October he’d be returning as the Man of Steel. Cavill even made a cameo as Superman in a mid-credits scene at the end of “Black Adam,” the DC film starring Dwayne Johnson. (CNN and DC Films are both part of the same parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery.)

On Instagram, Cavill explained he had a meeting with flimmaker James Gunn and British film producer Peter Safran, who in October were named co-chairmen and chief executive officers of DC Studios.

“I will, after all, not be returning as Superman,” Cavill wrote. “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. The changing of the guard is something that happens. I respect that.”

Cavill said despite him not reclaiming the role, “Superman is still around.”

“Everything he stands for still exists, and the examples he sets for us are still there!” he wrote. “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.”

Gunn also took to social media Wednesday, tweeting he and Safran “have a DC slate ready to go, which we couldn’t be more over-the-moon about; we’ll be able to share some exciting information about our first projects at the beginning of the new year.”

“Among those on the slate is Superman. In the initial stages, our story will be focusing on an earlier part of Superman’s life, so the character will not be played by Henry Cavill,” Gunn said.

Gunn then started answering questions from fans where he confirmed, among other things, that he’d been writing a Superman film for a while and that this would not be an origin movie.

Wednesday’s announcement also comes on the heels of Cavill’s exit from the Netflix series “The Witcher” after being the leading man for three seasons. Actor Liam Hemsworth will be taking his place.

CNN has reached out to representatives for DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Films.

Since their appointment, Gunn and Safran have been reevaluating the studio’s slate of projects, with some decisions recently making headlines. On Tuesday, director Patty Jenkins opened up about reports that the studio would not be moving ahead with a third installment of the “Wonder Woman” franchise.

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