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Henry Cavill attends a premiere for the film 'Avatar: The Way of Water', at Dolby theatre in Los Angeles, California, US, December 12, 2022. Image Credit: REUTERS

DC Studios co-head James Gunn has announced that he is writing a new feature film about Superman. In step with the new project, Gunn has also revealed that actor Henry Cavill will not return as the hero.

“Peter & I have a DC slate ready to go, which we couldn’t be more over-the-moon about; we’ll be able to share some exciting information about our first projects at the beginning of the new year,” the director-turned-label-chief tweeted Wednesday evening, reports Variety.

“Among those on the slate is Superman. In the initial stages, our story will be focusing on an earlier part of Superman’s life, so the character will not be played by Henry Cavill. But we just had a great meeting with Henry and we’re big fans and we talked about a number of exciting possibilities to work together in the future.”

Sources close to DC told Variety that Gunn, his co-president Peter Safran and Cavill met recently and are all energised to find something in the comic book universe for Cavill to tackle.

Cavill confirmed the he would not be reprising the role of Superman in a statement shared on Instagram.

“It’s sad news, everyone. I will, after all, not be returning as Superman. After being told by the studio to announce my return back in October, prior to their hire, this news isn’t the easiest, but that’s life,” Cavill wrote. “I respect that James and Peter have a universe to build. I wish them and all involved with the new universe the best of luck, and the happiest of fortunes.”

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Henry Cavill as Superman. Image Credit: Supplied

Gunn has been at work on the new Superman story for some time, insiders said. The script will focus on the character’s life as a cub reporter in the fictional city of Metropolis. Audiences will encounter him meeting key characters, like colleague Lois Lane, insiders added. Additionally, Variety sources said the new Gunn project will not replace the previously announced J.J. Abrams-Ta-Nehisi Coates Superman concept (which is still in active development).

Cavill isn’t the only star from the last DC era to sit down with Gunn and Safran. Ben Affleck — who has played Batman in numerous films from the label — recently met with the pair to specifically discuss the prospect of directing an upcoming DC feature, individuals familiar with those talks said.

The Superman news comes after a week of headlines following Warner Bros decision to not move forward with a new ‘Wonder Woman’ movie with director Patty Jenkins.

On Tuesday, Jenkins tweeted a lengthy statement saying she was “open to considering anything asked of me” in regards to a potential third project, which was scrapped. Shortly after, Gunn responded with support, saying to Jenkins on Twitter: “I can attest that all of Peter and my interactions with you were only pleasant and professional.”

As Gunn stated Monday, more details on the reimagined DC Universe are expected to come in January.