The reintroduction of Henry Cavill’s Superman in Black Adam was a pleasant surprise for many fans, but star Dwayne Johnson admits that Warner Bros. needed some convincing. Cavill made his acting debut as Superman in the 2013 film Man of Steel, which received mixed reviews from critics but was a major hit with viewers. It seemed like Cavill’s tenure as the DC Universe hero would be coming to an end after his appearances in the controversial Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and the criticized Justice League (and it’s more lauded Zack Snyder director’s cut). Cavill did make his triumphant comeback as Superman during the film’s post-credits scene, as had been widely speculated before Black Adam even hit theaters.
In a brand-new video that he shared on Twitter, Dwayne Johnson congratulates Black Adam on its digital release and talks about how he and his fellow producers managed Henry Cavill’s comeback as Superman. Johnson admits that it took years to persuade Warner Bros. executives to let Cavill return, and that building out the DC Universe without Superman was never an option.
How Did Dwayne Johnson Get WB To Recast Henry Cavill As Superman?
Although there were likely many meetings with Warner Bros. executives behind closed doors, Johnson has been publicly teasing a confrontation for years between Black Adam and Superman. The actor’s continued references to the character and discussions about an epic battle between his hero and Cavill’s generated conversation online and spurred many fans to theorize as to who would win in a fight. Johnson’s comments, of course, came at a time when there was already a great deal of fan demand for Cavill to return as Superman in Man of Steel 2 or some other project that continued the Snyderverse. While the movies that Cavill appears in as Superman aren’t always received well, audiences undeniably love the actor’s unique take on the character.
Johnson is already one of the world’s biggest movie stars, which means he will have more influence over studio executives in general, but the actor’s involvement with Cavill’s Superman fan following is sure to have contributed to the strain Warner Bros.’ leadership was already facing. Even without Johnson, it’s probable that Warner Bros. had plans for how to use Superman in future movies, but given Cavill’s connection to Zack Snyder’s Justice League catastrophe, the hero would have been played by a new actor had Johnson not been involved. However, if the studio had pursued another Superman movie and Clark Kent had been played by someone other than Cavill, there would have been a significant online backlash.
Johnson has stated publicly that Cavill’s portrayal of Superman is his favorite, implying that he would campaign for the actor’s return in some manner. It’s unknown how Johnson negotiated Cavill’s return outside of the public eye, but the conversation probably came down to money at some point, with Cavill’s take on Superman simply being the choice that will bring in the most money at the box office. It’s unclear how Cavill’s Superman will fit into James Gunn’s ambitions
for the DC Universe following Black Adam, but Johnson played a key role in bringing the actor back.