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Henry Cavill out as Superman as new DC film is set to focus on younger hero

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's ... an all-new, younger Superman. 

A new Superman movie is in the works that will be written by James Gunn but will not star Henry Cavill, even though the actor just recently made his return to the DC franchise. 

Gunn shared the news on Twitter, revealing he is writing a movie that will be "focusing on an earlier part of Superman's life, so the character will not be played by" Cavill. However, he said it will not be an origin story. 

The news came as a surprise in light of a recent cameo by Cavill that strongly suggested fans would soon see more of him as Superman. In October's Black Adam, Cavill's Superman appeared in a credits scene that seemed to set up a conflict with the titular character played by Dwayne Johnson. 

The surprise appearance excited DC fans after Cavill, who has starred as Superman since 2013's Man of Steel, had been absent from the franchise for five years. The actor then explicitly announced on Instagram, "I am back as Superman," claiming that "what you saw in Black Adam" was just a "very small taste of things to come." 

Perhaps he spoke too soon. Shortly after Black Adam's release, Gunn and producer Peter Safran were hired to oversee the DC franchise, and they're currently developing a long-term plan that may or may not involve rebooting the series' continuity. A third Wonder Woman film from Patty Jenkins was also recently canceled,. 

Cavill addressed the "sad news" on Instagram, telling fans he "will, after all, not be returning as Superman" despite "being told by the studio to announce my return back in October."

"This news isn't the easiest," he added, "but that's life."