Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

James Gunn responds to ‘disrespectful’ fan backlash after Henry Cavill announced he won’t return as Superman

Former Man of Steel star announced the unexpected news that he will no longer reprise his superhero role

Inga Parkel
Thursday 22 December 2022 07:35 GMT
Henry Caville as Superman

James Gunn has acknowledged “uproarious” fan outrage following the recent decision to replace Henry Cavill in the forthcoming Superman sequel.

Last week, fans were furious after Cavill shared the “heartbreaking” news that he would no longer be reprising his role as the Man of Steel, despite being told by the studio to “announce his return in October”.

At the time, Gunn had also confirmed the decision, shutting down rumours that it was because he didn’t like Cavill.

Now, nearly a week later, on Monday (19 December), Gunn has confronted the “unkind” backlash from fans, writing in a tweet that when he and co-CEO Peter Safran took the “job as heads of DC Studios” they “were aware” there would be a “certain minority of people online that could be, well, uproarious & unkind, to say the least”.

“We were aware there would be a period of turbulence when we took this gig, & we knew we would sometimes have to make difficult & not-so-obvious choices, especially in the wake of the fractious nature of what came before us,” Gunn added.

“No one loves to be harassed or called names – but, to be frank, we’ve been through significantly worse. Disrespectful outcry will never, ever affect our actions.”

He explained their “choices” are made “based upon what we believe is best for the story & best for the DC characters who have been around for nearly 85 years”.

“Perhaps these choices are great, perhaps not, but they are made with sincere hearts & integrity & always with the story in mind,” Gunn said.

Meanwhile, the director was forced to issue a clarification when Justice League actor Ray Fisher accused him of being “fake” on social media.

Apple TV+ logo

Watch Apple TV+ free for 7 days

New subscribers only. £8.99/mo. after free trial. Plan auto-renews until cancelled

Try for free
Apple TV+ logo

Watch Apple TV+ free for 7 days

New subscribers only. £8.99/mo. after free trial. Plan auto-renews until cancelled

Try for free

Despite his firing as Superman, Cavill is already reportedly attached to star and executive produce a series adaptation of the game Warhammer 40,000.

And according to The Independent’s Jacob Stolworthy, Cavill should be thankful “he’s been fired as Superman”.

As far as who DC will recast as Superman in the expected origin story spinoff, here are three actors fans think might replace Cavill.

This isn’t the first time Gunn has addressed fan outcry. Earlier this month, he issued a warning to the “fractious” DC fanbase, who responded in anger to the cancellation of Wonder Woman 3.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in