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Posted at 2:05 PM ET, 01/30/2011

New 'SUPERMAN' is cast: 'Tudors' ' Henry Cavill is your big-screen Man of Steel

By Michael Cavna

cavillmug.jpg (Image: Warner Bros.)

The tights have been cast. And your new Superman, despite the fan campaigning, won't be SuperHamm.

British actor Henry Cavill, 27, perhaps best known in the States for playing Charles Brandon in Showtime's "The Tudors," has just been announced as the new Man of Steel for Zack Snyder's reboot of the Superman franchise, Warner Bros. has announced.

"I also join Warner Bros., Legendary [Pictures] and the producers in saying how excited we are about the casting of Henry," Snyder ("300," "Watchmen," "Sucker Punch") said in a statement. "He is the perfect choice to don the cape and S shield."


Cavill reportedly was close to getting the role for 2006's "Superman Returns," before Brandon Routh [right] inherited Supes' suit. Routh, a native Iowan, shares Superman's Midwestern roots. This time around, the Superman team went with a Clark Kent who hailed from much closer to Kent: Cavill grew up in the Channel Islands.

Cavill reportedly once auditioned to wear Batman's cape, losing out on the Warner Bros. role that went to fellow Brit Christian Bale. The London-born Christopher Nolan, who has guided Bale's Batman films, is a producer and co-story writer on the new "Superman"

The men now wearing the title suits in the Superman, Batman and Spider-Man film franchises were all raised in the UK (new Spidey Andrew Garfield was born in L.A. before moving as a small child).

Cavill's newest projects include the upcoming release "Immortals," in which he plays the Greek warrior Theseus opposite co-stars Mickey Rourke and John Hurt; and "The Cold Light of Day," on which he's recently wrapped production with co-stars Bruce Willis and Sigourney Weaver.


Cavill [right] -- a reported 6-foot-1 -- is shorter than his recent big-screen Superman predecessors: Routh is 6-foot-3 and the late, great Christopher Reeve was 6-foot-4. According to DC lore, Kal-El is 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds. But Cavill is the same height as the first man ever to play Superman on the screen: Kirk Alyn, who starred in the late-'40s Superman movie serial.

Notable Supermen on the small screen over six decades have included Iowa native George Reeves, Dean Cain and "Smallville's" still-going-strong Tom Welling.

Welling was among those rumored to be in the running for the big-screen role. Another vocal contingent of fans wanted "Mad Men's" Jon Hamm to wear the red cape; but numerous industry observers considered Hamm -- who turns 40 next month -- too old for a reboot.

The Nolan/Snyder "Superman" is scheduled to be released in December 2012.



The Superman character, created in the early '30s by Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster, debuted on the cover of Action Comics No.-1 in 1938. Shattering the record, two "8.0"-graded copies of that issue sold at auction last year for more than $1-million.

Routh's "Superman Returns," directed by Bryan Singer, grossed only about $200-million domestically on a $270-million production budget, according to









By Michael Cavna  | January 30, 2011; 2:05 PM ET
Categories:  Geek Buzz, Superheroes  | Tags:  Brandon Routh, Christopher Nolan, Henry Cavill, Superman, Zack Snyder  
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It makes sense that Cavill seems to need a shave & haircut, since as Superman no earthly blade could cut it. Points for realism.

Posted by: PartialObserver | January 30, 2011 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Should be an improvement over Superman Returns. That film, while visually stunning, was just plain boring. Both of Nolan's Batman films were excellent, as was Snyder's Watchmen. Looking forward to the reboot. They really need to ignore Superman's origin and just get on with a new storyline with tension, drama, suspense, and of course action and special effects. Leaving Lois Lane and Lex Luthor on the sidelines this time around would be good too, but probably too much to expect. The Geoff Johns/Gary Franks version of Brainiac would be cool, as would Darkseid, Doomsday, or some new, totally original threat. We'll see....

Posted by: terrymulligan | January 30, 2011 8:30 PM | Report abuse

I would have preferred that Brandon Routh return as Superman. It's not his fault that the script for Superman Returns was nothing but a stupid rewrite of Superman--it followed just about every plot point from the original movie. This new guy seems rather hairy. Why do we keep casting British or Australian actors in American movies?

Posted by: taonima2000 | January 30, 2011 11:19 PM | Report abuse

I am crushed, beaten down and broken-hearted over this! I love Tom Welling! He is the perfect Superman and the one my generation grew up with. I'll have to pass on this movie. The pain of the Welling-shaped void in my heart would be too much!

Posted by: Lori-M | January 31, 2011 6:09 AM | Report abuse

Man....I have a sudden strong urge to be Lois Lane.

Posted by: d1123 | January 31, 2011 11:55 AM | Report abuse

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