Henry Cavill’s cryptic response to rumours he’s hung up his Superman cape has prompted fan reactions ranging from “I am so confused” to “don’t leave us”.
His Instagram video sees him stare into the camera, slowly lifting and then lowering a boxed Superman doll, while The Blue Danube – which features barking dogs – plays in the background.
It follows The Hollywood Reporter saying the British actor is “parting ways with Warner Bros”.
Warner has not confirmed the story.
“While no decisions have been made regarding any upcoming Superman films, we’ve always had great respect for and a great relationship with Henry Cavill, and that remains unchanged,” they said in a statement to CNN.
Anna Smith, film critic and president of the Critics’ Circle, told the BBC that if the speculation about Cavill leaving the role is true, she’d “love to imagine it’s because he is preparing take on the role of James Bond”.
She added: “The DC movies have been squandering his gift for suave comedy, which we saw in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and which would take Bond back to the old school (minus the sexism, I hope).”
What, if anything, happened here?
Hollywood Reporter suggested negotiations with Cavill broke down over scheduling problems for a cameo appearance in upcoming film Shazam!, about a teenage boy who transforms into a superhero.
However, the actor’s manager Dany Garcia suggested those reports may be premature, urging fans to “be peaceful, the cape is still in his closet”.
Cavill has a loyal following among his Superman fans
One called the speculation “a ridiculous rumour”, with other comments such as “hope to God you’re staying on as Superman, if not be the next Bond. Ur amazing actor”.
One said: “I have decided to shift to Marvel… because Henry Cavill is the only reason for me to become DC fan…”
Some, however, had other ideas.
The BBC has asked Warners and Cavill’s representatives for comment.
Why might Superman need a reboot?
IGN Entertainment’s senior editor Scott Collura wrote that “it’s insane, if not surprising, that Warner Bros doesn’t have a Superman any more”.
He said Warner Bros “don’t know what to do with the Man of Steel”.
“With Cavill apparently out, and [Batman actor] Ben Affleck rumoured to also be ready to hang up the cape and cowl, Warners and the folks behind the DC films are presented with an opportunity to soft-reboot the series,” he added.
DC may be looking for a major change of direction for Superman after the runaway success of Wonder Woman, which smashed box office records last year and will be followed by a much-awaited upcoming sequel.