Back to IndieWire

Henry Cavill: ‘Justice League’ Marketing Was ‘Faintly Ridiculous’ In How It Handled Superman

Cavill would've handled things a little differently than Warner Bros. if he was in charge of marketing "Justice League."

Henry Cavill as Superman

Henry Cavill as Superman

"Man of Steel"/Warner Bros.

“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” ended on a massive cliffhanger centered around the death and possible resurrection of Superman. The narrative decision left Warner Bros. in a tough position when it came time to marketing the follow-up tentpole, “Justice League.” Everyone knew Superman would be returning in some capacity, but the studio didn’t want to outright spoil the superhero’s return given the cliffhanger ending of the previous film. As a result, Warner Bros. made the decision to hide Superman from all “Justice League” marketing materials, including posters, trailers, and clips. Superman himself, Henry Cavill, admits such a choice maybe wasn’t the smartest to make.

“That whole concept [of hiding Superman in the marketing] was faintly ridiculous and I honestly believe everyone viewed it as such,” Cavill tells Empire Magazine (via ComicBookMovie). “Of course, if I’m on the press tour I’m in the movie. Obviously, you knew, and that was a different little tap dance we danced together. But for the audience, I wanted to leave some mystery. I think it’s important to have some mystery in movies these days.”

While Superman was left out of promotional materials, Cavill was not removed from the movie’s press tour. If it wasn’t obvious enough that Superman would return, the fact that Cavill was tasked with promoting the move in press appearances sealed the deal about the character’s return. As many fans asked themselves: Why would Cavill appear at “Justice League” press events if he wasn’t in the film?

Cavill also spoke to Empire about the infamous mustache debacle. When “Justice League” reshoots were announced, Cavill was in the middle of filming his role in “Mission: Impossible – Fallout,” which contractually obligated him to keep his mustache. Warner Bros. was forced to reshoot scenes of Cavill as Superman and then digitally remove the mustache, which created a much-discussed upper lip problem in the final film.

“I was slightly surprised,” Cavill says about mustache response. “When we decided to go for the mustache, I certainly wasn’t expecting all the events to unfold as they were going to unfold. I wasn’t expecting ‘Justice League’ reshoots to be as extensive as they were. Unfortunately, it led to much dismay when ‘Justice League’ came out, but that’s the nature of these things. You can’t win every time.”

When asked about the negative response to the film from fans and critics, Cavill only had this to say: “I think all these things have their place and their time. There are many reasons why the audience have responded in the way they responded. It’s all lessons learned.”

Cavill next stars in “Mission: Impossible – Fallout,” in theaters nationwide July 27.

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: Film and tagged , ,

Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox