Henry Cavill & Zack Snyder Discuss The ‘Superman’ Audition

Published 4 years ago by , Updated September 17th, 2012 at 12:06 pm,

superman cast henry cavill Henry Cavill & Zack Snyder Discuss The Superman Audition

Since we first learned that Henry Cavill is the new Superman, there’s been a lot of press dedicated to getting comic book and/or movie fans more familiar with who this up-and-coming actor is, and what he might bring to the table in Zack Snyder’s reboot movie,  Superman: Man of Steel.

We’ve already broken down some of the interesting history of Henry Cavill’s superhero auditions, which saw the 27-year-old Tudors star almost cast as Batman and James Bond at different points in his career.

Today, we have Cavill’s big mainstream media debut via an Entertainment Weekly cover – although, despite the headlines that some other are floating in order to trick titillate fans, Cavill is NOT in his Superman threads.

Take a look a the cover shot below, then we’ll move on to what Cavill told EW first-hand about the anxiety-stricken audition he gave for the part:

Superman Henry Cavill Magazine Cover Henry Cavill & Zack Snyder Discuss The Superman Audition

Regarding his audition for the role (specifically wearing the Superman suit), Cavill gave the following account:

“All I could think was: Oh, god. They’re going to look at me and go ‘He’s not Superman. Not a chance.’ The actor inside me was going: You’re not ready! You’re not ready!

The main reason for the actor’s concern was that he was no longer sporting the muscular frame he had put on for Tarsem Singh’s upcoming Greek Mythology epic, Immortals. In fact, at the time of the audition Cavill had been slimming down to play the lead character in the Bruce Willis/Sigourney Weaver thriller The Cold Light of Day – a body change he thought would doom his chances at landing Man of Steel.

However, director Zack Snyder felt differently about seeing Carvill in costume:

“He walked out, and no one laughed…Other actors put that suit on, and it’s a joke, even if they’re great actors. Henry put it on, and he exuded this kind of crazy-calm confidence that just made me go ‘Wow.’ Okay: This was Superman.’”

At the moment I get the feeling that people are leaning more toward the “Who is Henry Cavill?” side of things, rather than “he’s not right for this.” If Snyder says that the man (even with diminished muscle tone) wears the suit right, then that’s evidence enough for me (for now).

Cavill in 'Immortals'.

Like Andrew Garfield – a.k.a. the new Amazing Spider-Man – Cavill is a shooting star right now in Hollywood. And unlike, say, Taylor Lautner, I believe that it’s Cavill’s talent which is propelling him to these new heights…talent and a really good agent! Hopefully, playing Superman will prove to the world that this guy is the real successor to Christopher Reeve’s legacy (sorry Brandon Routh). Because if DC/WB can’t bring fans around with this Superman movie, The Man of Steel might not be back on the silver screen for a long while…

Superman: Man of Steel flies into theaters in December of 2012. To read more on Henry Cavill’s thoughts about the iconic role, pick up the latest issue of EW.

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  1. I really think that Tom Welling should have been pulled from the small screen for this role…

    • I know there are a whole contingent of fans who agree with you Bettie…but it’s kind of a dead horse at this point.

      The problem always was this: If Welling got the part, then people would want the whole ‘Smallville’ universe and characters to go with him. People who don’t like Smallville (and they’re out there) would have NOT liked that.

      Second, we have NO IDEA how Welling would look in the suit – because he hasn’t worn it yet! He could look ridiculous in costume and that would’ve been an epic FAIL.

      • I’m glad Welling isn’t in this film. I would have skipped the film entirely if he was, but let’s face it, he never had a shot. He probably wasn’t even on the studio’s radar for the role.

      • @ Kofi

        I doubt everyone would expect everyone from Smallville to appear on the big screen, like Lana Lang. Maybe for a sequel, but thats it. My friends & i would only want Tom Welling, Erica Durance & Michael Rosenbaum to reprise their roles in the films from the show. Everyone else pretty much served their purpose on the show already imo & would be no need for them for a sequel unless it was a minor role or cameo appearance.

        • I think that right there could be the issue — with the idea of Welling, you’re already calling for additional casting that would virtually make it a Smallville movie… and many would be upset that they didn’t just go ahead with a Smallville continuation on the big screen while others would avoid it thinking it is::: a lose-lose situation.

          • Im only intrested in the 3 main characters of Smallville to appear on the big screen. Other characters could easily be put in sequels if requested, thats what i was tryin to point out. Smallville has no connection to Reeve’s Superman films or Lois & Clark Superman Series and as i stated a number of times due to what they have plan for to this reboot with, imo it would be perfect to have the main 3 actors return & have the reboot take place where Smallville’s finale’s ends off. So far it seems like another more drama, less action flick like Superman Returns was.

          • Sometimes it is hard for people to separate television from movies. Movies are bigger than life. More special effects, louder sound. Who knows what a Tom Welling Superman performance would be like on the big screen. Well at the end of this season we should see Welling in the tights. I think that they should have a spin off of Smallville Welling as Superman, but it would have to be written and filmed differently. Maybe add more of Superman’s villains into the mix. We’ll see how the new movie pans out and how Cavill performs as the Man of Steel. We just have to be patient.

      • ^^ SO agree. I don’t want a Smallville rehash on the big screen. Not that I hate Smallville or anything but I want a fresh story, something iconic. I’ve been waiting for a proper Superman movie for a long time. I hope this it.

      • All I can say is thank the heavens someone is speaking sense to these jaded Wellingites. Welling looks far too boyish anyway and so I’m doubting he can pull off the suit.

        Kofi’s bang on the money in that if he were cast, people would be expecting a Smallville movie, and I don’t want that (even though I love the show!)

    • yeah i was hopin that Welling would be in the movie but o well

    • I also think the movie should have used Tom Welling. Then recast Lois and others to put distance with Smallville. Nicolas Cage and Judi Dench play the exact same character in reboots of their movies. The public is happy with it. Most fans wanted Edward Norton to stay on as Hulk in Avengers or Hulk reboot. They even preferred the idea of bringing Eric Bana back, rather than getting another replacement. This actor churn really wears people out. Studios expect fans to switch their affections at the drop of the hat, after they spent years and tons of PR effort getting audiences attached to the last guy. People’s emotions just don’t work that way.

    • Not only are you correct on that one,because of the lack of one, Tom Welling ,being cast , the movie seems to be heading for a very disappointing debut. That will be a shame because of the millions of fans so much awaiting the movie arrival. The more we see Mr. Carvil the more it becomes apparent that he is no Superman, maybe a great actor, but NO SUPERMAN. Sad.

  2. I havent waited this long for a proper Superman movie just so we can get a
    A Big Screen Sequel to Smallvile.

    • agreed

  3. Well no one laughed… that’s how I always cast my victims.

  4. I’m willing to give him a chance. After all, Snyder has done right by comics in the past and I would imagine he would only want what was right for the movie in the end.

    • The problem with your statement is that Snyder pretty much copied 300 and Watchmen page for page from the novel, but he’s already said this film wouldn’t be based off any particular comic story.

      • That’s what I thought worked with 300 and Watchmen. They were film versions of the comics and were spot on.

        I really think he’s a director who cares about the material he’s dealing with. I’m not saying this mvie will be the amazing film comic fans have longed for, but I do think it will be a good movie. Or at least a FUN one.

        • I loved both films, but I’m just saying we can’t look forward to that with Superman.

  5. I really want this movie to do well. I’m just on the fence about Snyder directing. Yes, his films always have great visuals/effects but they seem to be lacking something more. Now, I’ve only seen 300. Never got around to seeing Watchmen or Legend of the Guardians, but I know Snyder has been criticized for choosing style over substance. Hopefully Nolan’s involvement balances this out and we get Snyder’s eye for visuals combined with Nolan’s dedication to story and characterization. IMO, Superman is a franchise that needs both style and substance.

  6. He does look the part on that magazine cover, and he can easily bulk up, but that doesn’t make up for a lousy script and a flashy director.

    I need to hear some more casting news before I decide whether or not to see it. But if Lindsay Lohan is in this movie then I won’t go anywhere near it.

    Cavill might turn out to be the best Superman of all time (unlikely considering the competition) but if the script is as lousy as the claims suggest, then this film has failed before a camera has even been switched on.

    • One major hurdle for the guy is that people will will try and compare him to Reeve.

      • That will happen to every single person who ever plays this role, Reeve is Superman, and always will be. I think Cavill will be a good Superman, I’m not worried about him. It’s everything else.

        • Did he have sweat marks under his armpits like Christopher Reeve? :)

        • Worry about him.

          • Why worry about Cavill?

  7. Would I be the only one here to think that Cavill’s Mag cover phot above looks ALOT like Matthew Bomer?

    I’m very curious to see how well Cavill exudes all that is Superman… and how differently he does it compared to those in the past.

  8. Now THIS is a ‘re-boot’ I’m excited for (sorry, Spidey).

  9. The most thought of approach to the SUPERMAN reboot is who can play this role of a super man. What human actor can even begin to equal the look and physical appearance of this truly larger than life super man? The answer is … no one.

    Chris Reeve got close, but although his facial features were acceptable, he still lacked the physique that is SUPERMAN’S. No human actor we know of that would be considered for that role is a superhuman actor, nor can any come close to filling that role completely. The wonderful graphic depictions of the man of steel by various artists demonstrate that fact most emphatically.

    Today, the art of computer generated imagery has developed to the point of perfection. Naomi Watts was computer generated in certain scenes of King Kong that were deemed too dangerous for her to perform. I defy anyone not connected with the film to tell me which scenes they were.

    The reboot of SUPERMAN could contain a computer generated SUPERMAN that could be indistinguishable from a human actor, but at the same time retain the true physical representation of SUPERMAN.

    Oh, I know. You think SUPERMAN’s physique would not look right in Clark Kent’s suit. His physique could be toned down a bit when he’s Clark Kent and wearing a business suit. This would work because for 72 years now, no one could recognize Clark Kent as SUPERMAN when he put on a simple pair of glasses. If that absurdity worked for 72 years then I’m sure no one would notice he’s a little toned down in a business suit.

    Why this obvious solution to the question of who should be Superman has apparently escaped everyone but me is a mystery.

    Let’s finally give SUPERMAN his due. He is, after all, NOT human. So why do we insist on forcing him into a human mold?

    • Ummm, you posted this exact same comment awhile ago. It’s even more useless now.

    • Because it’s not necessary.

      To have a full time CGI Superman would be a waste of money IMO.

      …unless James Cameron decides to make a Superman movie ;)

      • I think CG works for a character like Green Lantern, but it’s unnecessary for Superman. You would only need to use CG in scenes that would be impossible for an actor.

  10. I’m excited to see what the suit looks like after reading about him putting it on. I loved what Snyder did with the Watchmen (and Minutemen) costumes.

  11. It’s a really great idea that Welling was NOT cast as Snyder’s Superman.
    All Smallville accomplished was to completely basterdize the history of Superman. Superman was the first super hero, not the last, influenced by Hawkman, Dr. Fate or others. He did not meet Lois Lane in his youth, nor Luthor.
    This was all twisted and subverted for writer convienience and advertisers dollars.
    Every few years we have some lazy writer or studio know-it-all re-writing a known characters history. It happened with the latest reincarnation of Green Hornet and lately Smallville.
    I’m glad Welling wasn’t placed into Superman. It would only have continued this cinematic abortion.

    • Well, you obviously don’t know you’re Superman very well. Ever read Birthright? Fairly certain Lex and Clark are friends as children, in fact, since Smallville, there have been several other comics that use that dynamic. Because it is a great one.
      As for Superman not being influenced by heroes from the past, there were dozens of heroes that lived before him.

      And yeah, and your biggest mistake, why do people insist on believing that Smallville takes place in the established continuity, well, it doesn’t, the writers and producers have made that very clear over the 10 years, Smallville exists within it’s own continuity. It is a decade long elseworlds story.

      • I wish we were getting Chris Evans as Superman or Hugh Jackman. Marvel is always stealing the best actors first.

        • Chris Evans and Hugh Jackman would not work as Superman for a particular reason: They are both currently Marvel heroes. Now, even if you go with the possibility of their availability (what if?), you should still realize the erroneous nature of your statement. DC has had Lynda Carter, Christopher Reeve, and John Wesley Shipp as Wonder Woman, Superman, and The Flash, respectively (the first two of which made the characters they played so much their own as to be considered ICONIC in the roles). Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Danny DeVito, Michelle Pfeiffer, Cillian Murphy, Ryan Reynolds, Val Kilmer, Halle Berry, George Clooney, Jack Nicholson, and Tommy Lee Jones have all been in DC movies…They are all beloved/respected actors (whether you liked the movies they were in is, of course, another issue). This list doesn’t even include some of the excellent actors that have been in the DC Vertigo/Alan Moore movies.

          In short, regarding your above complaint…ummm, no.

        • Even if Chris Evans wasn’t making his rounds on the superhero network I’d say no to him. He doesn’t fit the bill. Only my opinion of course and I adore him otherwise but just no on him being Supes.

        • Evans a good actor??

          LMAO! Who you trying to fool? His casting as Cap was lazy casting at it’s finest!

  12. He does not look the part. I’ve Never seen any incarnation of Supes that looks like him (face and body shape).

    But he is a good actor.

    I’m on the fence with this casting choice

    • totally agree

  13. Will probably be skipping this one already seen this on Smallville for 10 freaking years.

    • Something tells me this will be a liiiiiiittle different than Smallville ;)

  14. I don’t know much about him as an actor, but IMO he doesn’t at all look the part. I don’t see it at all it’s like looking at the opposite of Superman face wise. He doesn’t share any features I can identify with superman.

    Still he’s not the biggest problem with film it’s the director and the script writer. Also the horrible bad press surrounding the script.

    I’m just so glad to hear that Sucker Punch is getting such a negative response from test audiences it seems maybe the public has slightly better taste than I thought because that film looks to easily be the worst of his already mediocre career.

  15. @ Daniel F

    Despite our different opinions on Batman films, im glad we have the same view about this Superman reboot.

  16. I’m willing to give this guy a shot, He was quite good on the Tudors. But They Need to cast the right woman for Lois and/or Lana. But if they Use ZOD or Ursa or NON in this movie then I will be leaning toward NOT seeing this version of Superman. I would to see Braniac, or a Big Screen version of Darkseid, no offense to Smallvile, but I think Darkseid would work BETTER in a movie, and with Darkseid you could set the stage for a JLA movie.

  17. As if a JLA will come. At this point, it seems like a long shot.

  18. I think Henry Cavill is one sexy beast of a man. For goodness sake this man has buns of steel(watch his bare back side in action in a few Tudor episodes.) I would so, do that man in a heartbeat, if he was willing. I only hope they let him keep the facial hair he looks hotter.

  19. THat is why it will fail.

    • Why will it fail? To WHAT are you referring?

  20. I think Henry Cavill will fit into the Red & Blue Costume with the Red cape

  21. WTF is this? Bring back Brandon.

  22. Perhaps casting somebody who fits the role instead of the next British it boy? Hey, guys, you want to know why Christopher Reeves kicked the ever loving crap out of the role? Because he was a 6 ft two American. Henry Cavil might be a nice Jr. Bond. He’s not Superman. So when you fail miserably, and you will fail miserably, try and do a better job of casting. Idiots.