Henry Cavill Won’t Appear as Superman in ‘Shazam 2’

Popular on Variety

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s an internet rumor run amok!

Despite multiple online reports suggesting otherwise, Henry Cavill will not appear as Superman in the upcoming DC Films project “Shazam! Fury of the Gods,” two sources with direct knowledge of the production and Cavill’s schedule confirmed to Variety.

It’s easy to understand why rumors that Cavill would be in the “Shazam” sequel would be quick to take flight. Starring Asher Angel as the teenage Billy Batson — who becomes imbued by a wizard with powers that transform him into the superhero Shazam (played by Zachary Levi) — the first film opened to strong reviews and great word-of-mouth en route to a $366 million global take. “Shazam!” takes place in the larger cinematic universe established by 2013’s “Man of Steel,” and references Superman throughout. In the final minutes, Shazam even convinces Superman to come to Billy’s high school to show up a couple of bullies who were making life hard for Billy’s best friend, Freddy (Jack Dylan Grazer). In the scene, Superman steps into frame, but is only seen from the neck down. He’s played by stunt performer Ryan Handley.

While attempting to address the recent rumors of Cavill’s appearance in the sequel, director David F. Sandberg even noted that at one point, Cavill was supposed to don Superman’s cape and tights in 2019’s “Shazam!”

“Halfway through shooting ‘Shazam,’ the plan was still for Cavill to be in it,” Sandberg tweeted on Friday. It’s also why Sandberg says he isn’t commenting on the casting rumors about Cavill: “You can’t be sure about anything until it’s happened.”

In May 2020, Variety also confirmed that Cavill was set to play a cameo as Superman in an upcoming DC Films project, and it wasn’t in the HBO Max version of “Justice League” from director Zack Snyder. Cavill even told Esquire that he had not “given up” the role. “The cape is still in the closet,” he said. “There’s a lot I have to give for Superman yet.”

According to Variety‘s sources, however, while Cavill may be returning as Superman at some point, it won’t be in “Shazam 2.” Shazarnit.