James Gunn Addresses the Backlash Over Henry Cavill’s Superman Exit

If nothing else, the response to Henry Cavill’s Superman dismissal has reminded us how quickly a fanbase can turn against a studio and its figurehead(s). But in this case, the target of their rage is the newly-minted co-CEO of DC, James Gunn. Over the last eight years, Gunn has banked a ton of good will with comic book fans thanks to the success of Marvel’s first two Guardians of the Galaxy films and his recent forays into the DC Universe, which include The Suicide Squad and its HBO Max spinoff, Peacemaker. However the news that his upcoming Superman movie won’t star Cavill in the lead role hasn’t inspired much confidence in his plans for the franchise’s future. Now, Gunn is addressing this backlash head-on in a new statement posted to his social media accounts.

Gunn isn’t exactly a stranger to public scrutiny. In 2018, he was fired as the director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 after several lewd tweets he posted nearly a decade prior began making the rounds online. Disney subsequently re-hired him less than a year later, much to fans’ relief. But in recent days, the hashtag #FireJamesGunn has been trending, opening the door for some particularly harsh pseudo-discourse to spring up in its wake. That’s why Gunn took the opportunity to clear the air and assert that he and fellow CEO Peter Safran only have the best interests of the DCU at heart.

RELATED: James Gunn Is Writing a Young Superman Movie

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

You can read Gunn’s full statement below.


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At this time, very little is known about Gunn’s Superman movie or how close he is to finishing the script. But Gunn has confirmed that it features a younger version of the character, thereby negating Cavill’s return. Gunn also teased that this incarnation of the Man of Steel will be a cub reporter for The Daily Planet who has already developed relationships with several key members of its staff. Presumably, this includes Lois Lane, Perry White, and Jimmy Olsen.

What do you make of Gunn’s response? Let us know in the comment section below!

Photo Credit: Rodin Eckenroth/WireImage via Getty Images

Recommended Reading: Superman: Birthright