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DC Films co-chief James Gunn writing young Superman project; Henry Cavill out as Man of Steel

It seems that Cavill's "I am back as Superman" declaration was a tad premature.

By Josh Weiss
James Gunn; Henry Cavill as Superman

It seems that Henry Cavill's "I am back as Superman" declaration was a tad premature. Sadly, the actor's big screen tenure as the Man of Steel has officially come to an end now that James Gunn and Peter Safran have finalized their master plan for a shared cinematic universe of films based on the heroes and villains of DC Comics.

"Peter and I have a DC slate ready to go, which we couldn’t be more over-the-moon about," Gunn tweeted Thursday (see below). "We’ll be able to share some exciting information about our first projects at the beginning of the new year."

The filmmaker did reveal that one of the biggest priorities right off the bat is a Superman film that will explore "an earlier part of" the hero's life, "so the character will not be played by Henry Cavill." Gunn — who is writing the feature and promised it won't be a clear-cut origin story — went on to say that he and Safran "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."

RELATED: Henry Cavill makes it official: ‘I am back as Superman’

Cavill, who reprised Clark Kent's alter ego for a brief appearance in the mid-credits scene of Black Adam, sounded off on the announcement with a statement posted to his Instagram account.

"I have just had a meeting with James Gunn and Peter Safran and it's sad news, everyone. I will, after all, not be returning as Superman," he wrote. "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. The changing of the guard is something that happens. 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. For those who have been by my side through the years ... we can mourn for a bit, but we must remember ... Superman is still around. Everything he stands for still exists, and the examples he sets for us are still there! My turn to wear the cape has passed, but what Superman stands for never will. It's been a fun ride with you all, onwards and upwards."

Shortly after his surprise return to the DCEU (although that was never really the official name and it's now just called the "DC Universe"), it was confirmed that Cavill would exit The Witcher ahead of its fourth season. This led many to speculate the actor was clearing up his production schedule for more comic book projects, including a sequel to 2013's Man of Steel. While such an outcome is no longer in the cards, some fans see the major DC revamp as a prime opportunity for Cavill to make his way over to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Looking for more blockbuster cinema? Jurassic World Dominion, Nope, and Halloween Ends are now streaming on Peacock.