Becoming the Man of Steel

While many of you may know there is a new Superman movie on the horizon, there is certainly a number of people out there who don’t know anything about the guy who has the honor of portraying the ‘Man of Steel’, Henry Cavill.

Who is Henry Cavill?

Henry Cavill is a British actor who is most widely known for his role of Charles Brandon, the 1st Duke of Suffolk, on the popular Showtime series that followed the life of King Henry the VIII, Tutors. Up until Tutors, Cavill had rather minor roles in the American films Stardust and The Count of Monte Cristo.

According to Wikipedia, Cavill has had a slew of near misses that one would have to certainly deem as unlucky:

Cavill had been set to star as Superman in director Joseph McGinty Nichol’s 2004 film Superman: Flyby. However, Joseph McGinty Nichol pulled out of the project and direction was taken over by director Bryan Singer, who recast Brandon Routh as the lead. Cavill was also the cause of a write-in effort from fans to see him cast as Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005). The role eventually went to Robert Pattinson. Stephenie Meyer, author of the Twilight series, was outspokenly in favor of Cavill playing the character of Edward Cullen in the Twilight film, calling him her “perfect Edward”. By the time production of the film began, however, Cavill was too old to play the character, and again the role went to Robert Pattinson. In 2005, Cavill was a final contender for the role of James Bond in Casino Royale. The producers and director Martin Campbell were torn between him and Daniel Craig; reportedly Campbell supported Cavill but the producers preferred an older Bond. Ultimately Craig landed the role.

More recently, Cavill garnered the lead role of Theseus in The Immortals, a big budget epic directed by Tarsem Singh, which came out earlier last month. He will also be leading in the upcoming film The Cold Night of Day, starring alongside Bruce Willis and Sigourney Weaver as a American tourist in Spain, who uncovers a conspiracy while attempting to rescue his family.

Despite the relative popularity of Tutors as a Showtime TV series, these movies will bring Cavill much more exposure to the general public.

The Man of Steel

When many hear that a British actor was cast for the all-American role of Zack Snyder’s “The Man of Steel”, some may be off-put, as I was when I first heard of the announcement. But the saving grace in this case is knowing that Cavill is a great actor from seeing him in Tutors, along with the the classical training that many British actors inherently receive.

Looking back, it seems the choice to have Brandon Roth play Superman in 2006 was more or less finding someone who looked as close to Christopher Reeves as possible, along with the attempt to have that movie somehow fit into the chronology of the prior films.

Having Cavill, someone who has a totally different look, sets the stage for a full reboot of the movie franchise, is a great thing. We can finally put the now 30+ year old classic movies fully behind us and start anew. It will be very interesting to see what Snyder as a director does, and if Cavill can take up the mantle and extend it for generations to come.