With the official announcement earlier today that Zack Snyder and his team at Warner Brothers have chosen actor Henry Cavill as the lead in their Superman reboot (read Man Of Steel Picked For Zack Snyder’s ‘Superman’ Reboot), it’s time we get acquainted with the actor that will be The Man of Steel.
According to Heat Vision, the 27-year-old actor beat out Watchmen’s Matthew Goode for the Superman role. He also reportedly won out against White Collar’s Matthew Bomer, Social Network’s Armie Hammer, True Blood’s Joe Manganiello, and The Rite’s Colin O’Donaghue.
Cavill doesn’t have a very lengthy resume, appearing in his first feature role in 2001 and the following year in The Count of Monte Cristo as Albert Mondego. His later films were Tristan + Isolde, the horror-thriller Blood Creek, and a small role in Stardust. He’s best known for his work in the HBO series The Tudors as Charles Brandon. It’s probably this role, along with his screen test, that garnered him the coveted role of Superman.
If you’ve seen The Tudors, the you know that he’ll bring something grittier and a little more rugged to the role that has been so traditionally clean cut. He’s a solid actor so if the script is good this could truly be an interesting take on the classic comic book character. At the least with this casting it’s obvious that Zack Snyder isn’t interested in bowing at the feet of Richard Donnor the way that Bryan Singer did for Superman Returns.
Henry Cavill has been hovering around DC Comics superhero roles for quite some time. Cavill auditioned for the Batman role for Batman Begins in 2005, but lost out to another British actor, Christian Bale. Before Bryan Singer took on Superman Returns, Cavill was on the short list of picks for the Superman role while Brett Ratner and McG were running the show. So it seems he is destined to play a superhero. He even had a shot at James Bond, but Daniel Craig got the role because producers believed that Cavill was too young at the time of the auditions.
Superman purists may take issue with Cavill not looking enough like the traditional Superman that they know and love, but he is built for the role. He’s 6’ 1” and due to his roles in The Tudors and the upcoming film The Immortals, where he plays a Greek warrior battling the Gods, he’s had to maintain a build that works for Superman. Also, once he goes through the production machine he’ll resemble the Kryptonian enough for everyone. The big question is can he drop that British accent?
The film is in good hands. Zack Snyder is an unabashed comic book fan and he knows how to treat the subject matter (see Watchman), and Christopher Nolan has proven that he knows how to take a classic comic book story and modernize it while still pleasing the hardcore fans with his Batman franchise. So if these two both think Cavill can do it, I’m inclined to believe he can too. This choice does follow one tradition regarding Superman movies: the role of the hero has always been filled by an unknown or lower level actor. Cavil has been around a while but he’s far from a household name.