Faster than a speeding bullet, rumours have started flying about Michael B Jordan, who breathed compelling life into Black Panther villain Killmonger. Bookmaker Coral has given him 2/1 odds to step into the role, ahead of Irish actor Colin O’Donoghue at 3/1, A-lister Ryan Gosling at 5/1 and Armie Hammer at 6/1.
Donald Glover, whose musical alter-ego Childish Gambino achieved the viral sensation of the summer with his explosive This Is America video, is also a contender at 10/1.
So are several British TV stars, with Matthew Goode of The Crown, Downton Abbey and A Discovery of Witches at 10/1 and Richard Madden of The Bodyguard and Game of Thrones at 16/1. Others in the running include Hunger Games' Sam Claflin at 8/1 and Peaky Blinders star Cillian Murphy at 12/1.
When will we find out? Unless you have Kryptonian lungs, don’t hold your breath.
Warner Brothers said that they “have made no current decisions regarding any upcoming Superman films”—and the studio’s next priority is a Supergirl movie, with Superman potentially appearing only as a baby. With Ben Affleck rumoured to be stepping down as Batman too, that leaves three big vacancies at the very top of the DC film universe.
The trigger for Cavill’s departure was reportedly a scheduling conflict, with the production of Mission: Impossible—Fallout getting in the way of a planned Superman cameo in the upcoming Shazam! film. Like Affleck, the actor had also angered some fans with comments he made in interviews after last year’s Hollywood sexual assault scandals and subsequent #MeToo movement.
But the decisive factor may have been the failure of Batman v Superman and Justice League to perform as anticipated at the box office. Hollywood Reporter’s source acknowledged that “There’s a recognition that some parts of the previous movies didn’t work”.
Studio bosses could be eyeing their rivals’ success with more lighthearted superhero films like Deadpool and Guardians of the Galaxy.
The only certainty is that we haven’t seen the last of Supes—whoever happens to be playing him.