Cavill's Superman: How WB Shot Themselves in the Foot with 3 Major Mistakes

Cavill's Superman: How WB Shot Themselves in the Foot with 3 Major Mistakes
Image credit: AI

Henry Cavill was once hailed as "the perfect choice to don the cape and [Superman] shield" by Zack Snyder, the filmmaker who kicked off the new era of DC films with 2013's Man of Steel.

A decade later, Snyder is long gone and Cavill has been unceremoniously removed from his role as Superman. A lot of mistakes led to this recasting, but here are the three most egregious.

The tone was all wrong

Superman has been an iconic character that transcended media because of his devotion to "Truth, Justice, and the American Way." He was an ultimately innocent and earnest hero starring in campy, bright stories that inspired hope in viewers and readers.

Man of Steel came right on the heels of Christopher Nolan 's Dark Knight trilogy. It was dark, brutal, cynical, and a little depressing. It worked beautifully because it was Batman – that type of tone is not suited for the uber-perfect Superman.

DC was likely trying to replicate Nolan's success when they hired Zack Snyder for Man of Steel. Snyder specialized in brutal violence and morally grey heroes – the tonal opposite of Superman. As soon as Superman snapped Zod's neck to end the climactic battle, the characterization was off on the wrong foot.

The side characters were ruined

Sometimes studios need to modernize their characters for a newer audience – but Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor went a little far. He was no longer the established businessman and cocky evil genius; Man of Steel portrayed him as a sniveling little man-child who was living off of daddy's money.

MCU' s First F-Bomb Could Have Happened All The Way Back in 2008

Lois Lane's characterization fared almost as badly. Amy Adams did an amazing job in her role – but by the end, she was limited to trophy girlfriend who sometimes gives Clark a pep talk. Not the intelligent reporter and strong-willed life partner to Superman fans were used to. At least they weren't killed off immediately like Jimmy Olsen.

Superman's supporting characters have been praised for decades as part of what makes his mythos great. Maybe don't change what's not broken.

The mustache (and what it represented)

Cavill's Superman: How WB Shot Themselves in the Foot with 3 Major Mistakes - image 1

It's hard to miss, but in case you did, Henry Cavill had a mustache while doing the reshoots for Justice League that they edited out in post-production. He had to grow it out for Mission: Impossible, and was contractually obligated to not shave them, so people at DC used (really bad) CGI to cover it up. While it may seem like nitpicking, it epitomizes the overlying issue with the franchise.

In their most important movie, DC didn't make quality the priority.

Rather than spending some time to build up each character (the way competitor Marvel did), they jammed a bunch of superheroes into one movie and hoped fans liked it. Instead of sticking with their original plan, they scrapped everything and left fans in limbo.

Smallville Mystery Solved: Why Tom Welling Refused to Wear the Iconic Suit

The mustache may have been ugly, but what it symbolized was a lot worse.