Speaking to Variety‘s senior culture and events editor Marc Malkin at the Oscars, Johnson said when asked about Cavill’s removal from the cinematic franchise: “All that I could do, and all that we could do when we were making Black Adam, was to put our best foot forward and surround ourselves with the best people and deliver the best movie we could.”
He explained further: “It’s almost like when you have a pro football team and your quarterback wins championships and your head coach wins championships and then a new owner comes in and says, ‘Not my coach, not my quarterback. I’m going to go with somebody new.’”
Watch the clip here.
Following the release of the Johnson-starring Black Adam in October, Cavill confirmed via social media that he would be returning to the DCEU as Superman after secretly filming a post-credit scene with Johnson.
Cavill’s comments would be shot down two months later when it was announced that James Gunn and Peter Safran had been appointed at co-CEOs for DC films. Gunn revealed that Cavill’s Black Adam scene had been filmed before his appointment, and that his vision for the franchise would focus on a younger Superman not played by Cavill.
“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,” Cavill wrote on Instagram at the time. “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.”
Johnson would later confirm that “Black Adam will not be in [DC Studios’] first chapter of storytelling. However, DC and Seven Bucks [Johnson’s production company] have agreed to continue exploring the most valuable ways Black Adam can be utilized in future DC multiverse chapters.”
“James and I have known each other for years and have always rooted for each other to succeed. It’s no different now, and I will always root for DC (and Marvel) to win and win big,” he continued.