DC Studios’ co-heads James Gunn and Peter Safran are completely revamping the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). Some of the most famous actors from the DCEU have already been deboarded from the new DC Universe (DCU) franchise in a major shake-up led by the two heads.

Among the most famous names to have announced their departure from Gunn’s vision of the franchise is Henry Cavill. The actor first appeared as Superman in Man of Steel (2013), the first film in the DCEU franchise, and most recently had a cameo as the character in Black Adam (2022).

Meanwhile, Black Adam star Dwayne Johnson has become the latest to announce that the character he plays is not immediately part of the DC Universe plans. 

All the actors who are in or out of the DC Universe

Dwayne Johnson

Dwayne Johnson DC Universe
Image credit: IMDb

Johnson announced on Instagram that his character Black Adam will not be part of the “first chapter of storytelling” in the DCU forming under Gunn’s vision.

However, in a post on 21 December 2022, Johnson said that he connected with Gunn regarding the character’s future. He also said that both DC and his own production house, Seven Bucks, are looking at ways the character can be included in future DC films.

“I wanted to give you a long-awaited Black Adam update regarding the character’s future in the new DC Universe. James Gunn and I connected, and Black Adam will not be in their first chapter of storytelling. However, DC and Seven Bucks have agreed to continue exploring the most valuable ways Black Adam can be utilized in future DC multiverse chapters,” he said in a statement.


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A post shared by Dwayne Johnson (@therock)

“You guys know me, and I have very thick skin – and you can always count on me to be direct with my words. These decisions made by James and DC leadership represent their vision of DCU through their creative lens,” he added.

Thanking his fans for their support for Black Adam, Johnson signed off with a holiday greeting.

Henry Cavill

On 15 December, Gunn and Cavill announced that the latter’s Superman is not part of the DCU.

“I will, after all, not be returning as Superman,” Cavill wrote in a post on Instagram after a meeting with Gunn and Safran.


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A post shared by Henry Cavill (@henrycavill)

He said that he was asked to announce his return in October before Gunn and Safran came on board, and, therefore, the departure “news isn’t the easiest, but that’s life.”

Cavill’s announcement came days after he exited the role of Geralt of Rivia in Netflix’s The Witcher (2019–) series.

Amy Adams

Speculations suggest that if Cavill is not in the DCU, there is a possibility that Adams, too, won’t be part of the new franchise.

Adams plays the legendary character of Lois Lane in the DCEU. Fan theories apart, there is no official word on whether she will somehow be part of the new universe that Gunn is forming or if her character will be handed to someone else, as the focus is now going to be on a younger Superman.

Gal Gadot

Wonder Woman
Image credit: © 2017 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Ratpac-Dune Entertainment LLC/IMDb

Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman 3 has been shelved, leaving the future of Gal Gadot, who plays the iconic DC character, in Gunn’s vision for the franchise uncertain.

There is no clarity as of now whether Gadot will continue playing Wonder Woman in the DCU in some other way, but Gunn has hinted that she might as well remain.

“Cannot wait to see what you’re cooking up… That being said the move to boot… Gadot…doesn’t inspire confidence,” a fan wrote on Twitter.

Responding to it, Gunn wrote, “I’m not sure where you’re getting that we ‘booted’ Gal.”

Zachary Levi

Image credit: IMDb

Levi plays the fan-favourite character Shazam in the DCEU. His next in the franchise is Shazam! Fury of the Gods, due for release on 17 March 2023.

When a concerned fan asked if his future in Gunn’s world was safe, Levi seemingly responded in the affirmative.

“Oooh, I really wouldn’t go believing everything you see on the internet. I’m Gucci, Ash. We all Gucci,” he wrote on Twitter.

Jason Momoa

Aquaman (2018) is the highest-grossing DCEU movie of all time. Momoa, who played the superhero Atlantean in the film, will be seen in theatres in his role on 25 December 2023.

But that’s an entire year away. Since the film’s release date is set as planned and there is no official communication regarding Momoa’s future in the franchise, fans are of the view that he might still be part of Gunn’s DCU.

Xolo Maridueña

The latest to join the franchise is American actor Xolo Maridueña, who will be seen as Blue Beetle in the eponymous film in August 2023.

Maridueña, who is best known for playing Miguel Diaz in the Netflix series Cobra Kai (2018–), had previously expressed his pride in playing the first Latino-Hispanic superhero to headline an eponymous movie.

When a fan asked Gunn if Blue Beetle will still be released under the DCU shake-up, Gunn responded with a confirmation.

Ezra Miller

Miller plays Flash in the DCEU. The series of legal controversies the actor has landed into has led to speculations about Miller’s future in the franchise.

Reports suggest that Miller is still filming for the next instalment featuring Flash in the franchise. The film is set for a June 2023 release.

However, there are growing calls from fans to shelve the film, given Miller’s controversies. Cavill’s departure and the scrapping of Wonder Woman 3 have strengthened calls for scrapping the upcoming Flash film altogether.

Ben Affleck

DC Universe shake-up
Image credit: IMDb

Affleck has played Batman in the DCEU films and is also set to appear in the upcoming Flash film.

Gunn has confirmed that Affleck is part of the DCU but might take up a directorial role.

“Met with Ben yesterday precisely because he wants to direct & we want him to direct; we just have to find the right project,” he said on Twitter on 15 December.

When a Twitter user asked if Batman will be part of the new franchise or remain with Matt Reeves, Gunn responded saying that the character is a “big part” of the DCU.

Reeves’ standalone film The Batman (2022) has Robert Pattinson playing the Caped Crusader. The film is not part of the DCEU.

(Main and Featured images: IMDb)

written by.

Manas Sen Gupta

Manas enjoys reading detective fiction and writing about anything that interests him. When not doing either of the two, he checks Instagram for the latest posts by travellers. Winter is his favourite season and he can happily eat a bowl of noodles any time of the day.