Henry Cavill wants to reprise his role of Superman

There is still a lot of storytelling for me to do as a Superman, and I would absolutely love the opportunity. As I always say, ‘The cape is still in the closet.’” Says Henry Cavill.

The British actor has starred in movies from ‘The Witcher’ season 2, ‘Highlander,’ his Superman and ‘Mission Impossible’ futures but the 6ft 2 hunk still is amazed just how many people recognize him even with a mask on.

Despite having played Superman in a trio of DC films (which have grossed more than $2 billion), launched The Witcher franchise (Netflix’s most watched original series until Bridgerton came along) and had a scene-stealing turn in 2018’s Mission Impossible: Fallout (which brought in $800 million worldwide as the highest-grossing film in the franchise.

Zack Snyder calls Cavill “a warrior monk.” Fallout director Christopher McQuarrie sees Cavill a bit differently: In a town full of celebrities, “Henry is a classic movie star.”

“It’s not like there was something in the water in the 1930s and ’40s that there isn’t today,” McQuarrie says. “Movie stars are not as abundant now for two simple reasons: The industry wanted and cultivated stars, and there were people ready to do the work required to be stars. Henry is in the category of somebody hell-bent on doing the work, and that work is hard.”

Cavill is certainly working more than ever, set to star in John Wick director Chad Stahelski’s reboot of the action-fantasy Highlander, reprise his role as Sherlock Holmes in the Netflix sequel movie Enola Holmes 2, and head the all-star cast of Kingsman director Matthew Vaughn’s spy thriller Argylle. And Dec. 17, The Witcher returns for season two (with Cavill having just signed a new deal paying more than $1 million per episode, sources say). There’s also never-ending speculation that Cavill might be in line to play the most highly coveted character in action cinema — James Bond.

For his part, Cavill acts vaguely perplexed by all this. “Something has changed, something has shifted,” he says of his busy coming slate. “After 21 years of hard work, I have three jobs lined up. Maybe it’s me, maybe it’s my approach, maybe my value as a commodity increases being attached to things like The Witcher. Now I can really focus on the storytelling and grow from here.”

Man of Steel was a success, and fans clamored for a direct sequel, but Warner Bros. seemed intent on following Marvel’s Avengers playbook with multicharacter mashup titles such as 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and 2017’s Justice League, the latter of which underperformed critically and financially to the point that the studio reshuffled its executive ranks and slate plans.

True to form, Cavill largely avoided engaging on the controversies that followed Justice League, such as the reports of replacement director Joss Whedon’s abusive on-set behavior, though he did acknowledge in an interview that the theatrical cut “didn’t work.” He now says Snyder did a “wonderful job” with his Snyder Cut re-edit.

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In May, DC announced the development of a Black Superman film, making Cavill’s return as the superhero icon even more uncertain. “It’s exciting — Superman’s far more than skin color,” Cavill says. “Superman is an ideal. Superman’s an extraordinary thing that lives within our hearts. Why not have multiple Supermen going on? Joaquin Phoenix did a wonderful Joker movie; so what if it’s not tied to the rest of [the franchise]? They have multiple Superman comic book storylines happening at the same time.”

He is a bit Superman-like: He keeps his work life and private life very distinct. The actor will swoop down onto a set, heroically crush his duties, then retreat to his Fortress of Solitude in South Kensington, all while occasionally issuing noncontroversial Instagram posts about topics like working out, cooking or literally a poem. When asked about his typical day when not working, Cavill’s reply could be just about anybody’s (walk his dog, meet his brothers or friends for lunch, have a couple beers …).

“I tend to slip off the radar when not working,” Cavill says. “I’m a private person and a family person. The spotlight is beneficial, but it can also be exhausting. I like to put my feet up without being concerned with how I’m being perceived or what I’m putting out there, and I can do that in a private space with friends and family. We’ve seen plenty of celebrity events where somebody’s lost their temper, and I’m sure a lot of that comes down to the feeling of being exposed.”

Cavill is currently filming Netflix’s Enola Holmes 2 with star Millie Bobby Brown, which will air in 2022 (“Enola goes out into the world and has more interaction with [Sherlock] now that she’s established herself as a character; we dive deeper into their relationship,” he says). Next year he’ll shoot Highlander, a new version on the immortal swordsman action-fantasy (which sources say netted the actor at least a $5 million payday). Cavill says Stahelski’s vision is a more grounded-in-reality take than the original movies and show, and will likely play a bit more like a modern tragedy.

“I’m very happy to keep doing movies that use action as a form of storytelling, and I have no particular desire to say, ‘I just want to do drama now,’ ” Cavill says. “I enjoy being in the best shape of my life, year after year, despite the injuries. I want to be pushed so I can get better. I don’t want to sit down.”

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Scott Baber
Scott Baber
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Manages incoming enquiries and advertising. Based in London and very sporty. Worked news and sports desks in local paper after graduating.

Email Scott@MarkMeets.com

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