Henry Cavill’s Superman Will Be ‘Different But Not Unrecognizable’

Published 4 years ago by , Updated February 10th, 2012 at 12:09 pm,

henry cavill as clark kent in superman man of steel Henry Cavills Superman Will Be Different But Not Unrecognizable

From the moment it was announced that Zack Snyder would be calling the shots on Superman: Man of Steel, the project became a lightning rod for controversy. Though many fans lauded his rather slavish devotion to comic book source material in films like 300 and Watchmen, there were still some concerns that his sensibilities as a filmmaker might be at odds with the cornerstones of Superman‘s mythology.

His detractors became even more impassioned when Snyder chose British actor Henry Cavill for the title role. Peruse any recent article related to Superman: Man of Steel and you’ll find that some fans think that Cavill is too short, others think that his hair’s too curly, and a large majority still believe that Brandon Routh (Superman Returns) or Tom Welling (Smallville) deserve the part.

To be fair, when you’re dealing with an adaptation of something as beloved and recognizable as Superman, any decision is going to generate mixed reactions¬† – just take a look at how divisive opinions were last week over the casting of Oscar-nominated Amy Adams as Lois Lane. However, no other aspect of the film seems to have sparked quite as big a reaction as Cavill’s involvement – and I imagine that debate will continue long after Superman: Man of Steel is released.

It probably won’t convince any of the naysayers to rescind their opinions, but Cavill recently sat down with MTV to briefly talk about the film – and his take on the iconic character. He begins by confirming what Snyder, producer Christopher Nolan, and screenwriter David S. Goyer have indicated from the get-go: that this film will examine Superman in a more modern context. However, Cavill claims that the fundamentals of the mythology will still be honored:

“I have read the script … it’s true to the source material, but basically there’s so little I can say about it. It’s basically just a re-imagining and modernization of an iconic character.”

He then acknowledges that Superman Returns was cut from the same cloth as Richard Donner’s Superman movies and that Routh’s performance has a great deal in common with Christopher Reeve’s portrayal of the character. When asked if that means he’ll be making a deliberate departure from their work, Cavill explains:

“That’s tough to say. It’s very early days yet. Superman is Superman after all. There’s only so much of a change you can make to that. It’s certainly going to be different, but not so different that it’s unrecognizable.”

henry cavill as superman Henry Cavills Superman Will Be Different But Not Unrecognizable

Fan art depicting Henry Cavill as The Man of Steel

Snyder’s definitely facing an uphill battle when it comes to fan reaction at the moment and I’ll be honest – I’ve never been that fond of his work. You can count me in the minority when it comes to his Dawn of the Dead remake – it had a few fun moments, but I’ve just never understood the love for it. I also couldn’t really get into 300 and I thought Watchmen missed as often as it hit. Quite frankly – I feel the exact same way about the majority of his casting decisions.

Some of them are absolutely inspired (Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach) and some of them are baffling (Malin Akerman as Silk Spectre) – and there’s even the rare occurrence where hiring someone like Mathew Goode as Adrian Veidt almost completely contradicts some of the most integral aspects of the character.

I know that not everyone feels the same way and if you’re a fan of Snyder’s work, I can absolutely respect that. My point is just that I understand how some people can get so worked up over these things. Having said that, I’m still incredibly optimistic about Cavill playing Clark Kent/Superman.

At first glance he may not strike many as Man of Steel material, but after he packs on some muscle, gets a new haircut, and we see him in the suit – I think he might ultimately win over quite a few of the skeptics. I believe he’s a solid actor and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that his casting winds up falling into the inspired category, rather than the baffling.

Superman: Man of Steel is scheduled to hit theaters in December 2012.

Source: MTV and Ralph Damiani (Fan Art)

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  1. after seeing SP, and remembering 300 and Watchmen, I am nervous for what kind of Supes movie Snyder is going to give us. For me, even the action scenes in SP were dry and… messy (particularly the train scene). I fear we are going to get an unemotional movie with a series of unnecessary overthetop action sequences. God help us.

    Snyder should do music videos or series of action short films (like the original Aeon Flux toons). until WB stops giving him these big projects and hes forced to practice on smaller character driven projects he wont get any better. I have more respect for McG at this point because he’s at least he tries different types of films the expand his craft (e.g. We are Marshall) while just keeps rehashing the same slomoaction scene bs.

  2. I like Cavill for Supes. Like the article says, he may not be the most obvious choice, but I think he’ll work well. Amy Adams wouldn’t be my pick for Lois (for Lana maybe), but she’s a fair actress. It’s Snyder I’m worried about.

  3. A Brit as Batman,
    a Brit as Superman,
    a Brit as Spiderman,
    around a quarter of the new X-Men…British

    We are really getting around with all these superhero films and reboots. I’m not implying anything by this, but it is actually quite an interesting fact. Just says a lot for British actors really, and our connection to comic book superheroes and its material :)

  4. Guy’s… Y’all need to chill. This movie is going to be better than 70’s movie and 2006. I think it would be great to see the beginning of superman and how he become superman. the cast is great and the story will be fantastic. Just chill… Nolan and David are in this as well. I don’t want to see the same happy man of steel. I want to see more of a serious superman. Maybe a bit like smallville. Cavill is a good actor and I can’t Wait to see his take of the man of steel. I just want to know WHO ARE THE VILLIAN(s)!!!!!! (I don’t want lex to be the main villain (maybe like a side villain)

    • Sorry i woudl have to disagree with you there Christopher Reeve’s Superman I & II are icon and apart of pop culture. They also showed a superhero movie didnt have to be a comedy and led way to other comic book movies. And if you have never seen Smallville or Superman I & II then i dont know what to say.

  5. I think Henry Cavill playing Superman will be speaking british instead of having an american acsent. Maybe his British acsent in the “Man of Steel” script will be speaking by Kryptonian Language, he can stand up for Truth, Justice, and an American Way instead of being born British. Iam not trying to be Prejudice over the Superman movie. I think Warner Bros is trying to keep the rebooted Superman films away from London, England where Richard Donner & The Salkinds shot it from during the time. Dont get me wrong here, cause I think Richard Donner had some influence over Bryan Singer and thats the conclusion.

    • I freely admit I have no idea WHAT you just said.


      I don’t think we have to worry that Superman will have a British accent.

  6. You know who looks like a real Superman?

    Jon Hamm

    You know what would have made a good Superman story?

    Superman, aged and fed up with humanity, is debating his continuing existence as the Big Blue Boyscout – in the face of this dilemma he sees humanity threatened in a way he has never seen before, an alien threat that forces him to choose between his own alien origin and his life as humanity’s protector…Darkseid.

    • Dante,

      I still wish that the studio had been bold enough to take a chance on casting Hamm as an older Superman and doing the Supes equivalent of The Dark Knight Returns.


  7. If he messes with the character too much the movie will be a flop. Superman is Superman and he has decades of fans who expect him to be who he is. Not a reinterpretation based on someones fantasy of what they think he ought to be. Please do not screw this up!

    • Yay but alot of the qualities fans love about makes him a character that cannot be brought to the big screen for the general audience. His most glaring be his black and white morality.

  8. First off the Superman movies are based on the original comics for the most part. I started reading Superman when they rebooted the comic in ’87. Superman Returns should not have been based on the original movies. They should have rebooted the series then. I am getting tired of them showing Lex like a common criminal who happens to be a genius. If they ever do Lex again they should make him like in the comics, a powerful business man who owns just about all of the city! Yes, it is time to modernize Big Blue! Having Him going up against villains like Darkseid, Lobo, Brainiac, Doomsday! They could have made a trilogy out of the Doomsday storyline alone! Darkseid would make a great villain and if they wanted to make Supes darker they could run with Darkseid brainwashing him and making him do his bidding and have Batman with a kryptonite ring to make him come to his senses or however that story went lol. I wouldn’t object with the Boy Scout having longer hair like he did after Doomsday, I thought it was pretty cool for a change! I also liked that in the reboot comic that Clark was an athlete in HS, made it more believable to me.

  9. Brandon Routh is BEST for the role.

    Its just superman returns story didnt have any connection to the fans. know why? coz smallville’s story is outstanding. i wonder if they thought of that.

  10. Cavill does not have “it” in the eyes. I know the guy from blue collar is to short for the part but the point is Snyder is going to miss the mark if Clark Kent does not charm the pants off girls with kind eyes and if Superman does not melt your heart with those striking “REAL” blue eyes.

    • chris reeves melted stares was made the girls to melt heats like brandon routh has in superman returns can henry cavill has it too? let see!! If they make the movie justice league please cast bale as batman, ryan reynolds as green lantern coz they know well their roles, such as can henry cavill won over to christian bale/batman who had strong character? i love to see flash,wonder woman & other jl member..beware the marvels “avengers” movie will rule in 2012 coz of their great casting…can the new superman movie had a great performance..well see coz chris evans/captain america was now the best superhero!!

  11. i spent the last few years watching tom wellinton play in smallville and see that he was the best superman actor yet aside from christopher revves and belive he would make the best for the new superman reboot

  12. I’ve seen the trailer for the Immortals and this guy has no charisma. This isn’t going to work.

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