“Man of Steel” isn’t just the latest film about Superman, it’s the latest chance for an actor to become an icon — in this case, it’s Henry Cavill. While the actor straps into the character’s red and blue super-suit, MTV News takes a look at his transformation into the last son of Krypton.
Cavill began his professional acting career with a small role in director Kevin Reynolds’ “The Count of Monte Cristo,” leading to a series of British television opportunities. Before he landed his biggest role to date as Charles Brandon in Showtime’s series “The Tudors,” he actually courted Kal-El in a 2004 production titled “Superman: Flyby,” which was to be directed by McG (“Charlie’s Angels”). He was eventually replaced in the role by Brandon Routh when Bryan Singer took over directing duties and redubbed it “Superman Returns,” but it was his first brush with blockbuster filmmaking.
His subsequent work in films like “Stardust” gained him a fanbase. They wanted high-profile roles for him, like the Cedric Diggory character in the “Harry Potter” series, which eventually went to Robert Pattinson, and Pattinson’s own iconic role of Edward Cullen in the “Twilight” films. (Reportedly, Stephenie Meyer thought he would be perfect as the sparkly bloodsucker, but he was too old to take the role by the time that an adaptation of the first book went into production.) He was also one of the finalists to play James Bond before Daniel Craig landed the role in “Casino Royale,” which earned him the designation of “Unluckiest Man in Hollywood” by Empire Magazine.
MTV News spoke with Cavill at 2011’s WonderCon, about the time he was cast in “Man of Steel.” While the actor was already studied in the art of giving satisfyingly evasive answers to questions about the film and the role, he characterized the film, and his take, as “basically just a re-imagining and a modernization of an iconic character.” Whether he followed through remains to be seen, but early footage from the film suggests that he is playing a more serious and more complex interpretation of the character.
Cavill isn’t sitting back waiting for superstardom to knock at his door. In fact, he’s leaping into another high-profile project almost immediately. He’s signed onto “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.,” replacing its previous star, Tom Cruise, who departed to work on the next “Mission: Impossible” installment.
But if this catalogue of near-misses, achievements, and up-and-coming opportunities doesn’t whet your appetite for watching Cavill play Superman, then make sure you tune in later this week for another “MTV First” interview, where we’ll be sitting down with him for a lengthy, in-depth conversation about strapping on that super-suit and playing one of the most famous characters in pop culture history.
Check out everything we’ve got on “Man of Steel.”