Five Things About New Superman, Henry Cavill

He just landed one of the hottest roles in Hollywood, but who is the man who'll be suiting up as the Man of Steel?

By Peter Gicas, Gregory Imler Jan 31, 2011 11:41 PMTags
Henry Cavill, SupermanAndrew H. Walker/Getty Images; DC Comics

Director Zack Snyder's Superman reboot has found its leading man: Henry Cavill. But what do we really know about the guy? Now that we've done some digging, plenty. So read on to learn all about the the soon-to-be superhero's road to stardom.

1. Stephenie Meyer thought he would have been the "perfect" Edward Cullen: He was the Twilight author's first choice to play the perpetually teenaged vampire, but by the time the movie was put in motion, the actor's age worked against him. When work began on the flick in 2007, Cavill was 25 years old, and the filmmakers didn't think he could pull off playing a 17 year old.

2. He had a serious streak of close calls: Before landing the Man of Steel role, Cavill hadn't exactly been nailing down leading-man roles. He reportedly came close but lost out on being the next Bond when Daniel Craig got the part for Casino Royale, and was rumored to be in the running for the Caped Crusader before Christian Bale nabbed the part in Batman Begins. Cavill had even been attached to a previous Superman reboot to be directed by McG, but by the time Bryan Singer came on to direct he was passed over in favor of Brandon Routh. All the repeat disappointments led Empire magazine to dub the actor, "the most unlucky man in Hollywood."

3. He's a fan of languages: Reports vary on just how many the guy speaks—between four and nine—but it's impressive. Not only are English, French, Spanish and Italian on the list, he's rumored to be pretty good at Russian and even Nepalese. Should come in handy we imagine.

4. He's done the classics, Shakespeare and…Grease? Though he was in Woody Allen's Whatever Works and the adaptation of Neil Gaiman's Stardust, he's probably best-known for his role as Charles Brandon, First Duke of Suffolk, in Showtime's The Tudors. But where did the actor get his start? Growing up in England, Cavill caught the acting bug as a student at Stowe School in Buckingham. So, were there any roles that inform his take as the last son of Krypton? He played Oberon in A Midsummer Night's Dream, and there was also Sonny in Grease. Yeah, that one we didn't see coming, either. But diversity is key if you want to make in this business.

5. He beat some tough competition for his latest role: It's no secret that the part of Superman in Snyder's reboot was one of the most sought-after roles around. Even Jon Hamm said he'd be down to suit up. (Though he told us at the SAG Awards he thinks he's too old, Don Draper still thought it was a cool idea when he first heard the rumors.) So who'd Cavill edge out to end that unlucky streak of his? Just some names like True Blood's Joe Manganiello and the Social Network's Armie Hammer. He nabbed the role over Matthew Goode, a fellow Brit who had worked with Snyder previously, starring as Ozymandias in the director's big-screen adaptation of Watchmen. There were even reports that Goode had taken himself out of the running for several other roles in order to focus on Superman. One man's bad luck is another man's good fortune.

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