The five men who could be Superman
With rumours flying around about who’s in line to play the Man of Steel, here are five actors we think could be perfect for the role of Superman…
The casting for the new Superman film has been discussed ever since Christopher Nolan announced he would be 'overseeing its production'. Since then, names have been bandied around such as Zachary Levi (Chuck) and John Hamm (Mad Men), but both have seemingly turned out to be false.
Casting Superman is a tricky task, as not only do you need an actor that can pull of the Man of Steel look, but you also need someone who can be the mild-mannered alter ego, Clark Kent.
Brandon Routh managed to do a good job in the last film, Superman Returns, but many felt it was too much of a tribute to Christopher Reeve. Despite a measure of fan support, it is unlikely Routh will return to the role, due to the new production team, leaving cast possibilities wide open.
Christopher Nolan (and if rumours are to be believed, director Jonathan Nolan) are going to pick an actor best suited for the role and, looking at past casting decisions from the two, they are not afraid to go a bit left field as well as listen to what the fans want. However, two things are clear:
1. No major stars. Anyone who commands a salary of $20 million is not going to be needed for Superman, especially when you have all the brand recognition you need.
2. No Tom Welling. Nolan is not going to make Smallville: The Movie.
So, who could be Superman? Below are five possibilities for the role whom this writer feels would be capable of handling both the hero side and the meeker reporter side of Kal-El, last son of Krypton.
You could argue that the Superman story is one big Jesus analogy anyway, so why not get Jesus himself to play the Man of Steel! Not a stranger to sci-fi after doing The Prisoner and Outlander, and not a big enough star that he would require a massive paycheck, Cavizel has shown himself capable of doing both wide-eyed innocence and heroics and, as such, would be an excellent Superman.
See: The Count Of Monte Cristo
Also known as the unluckiest actor in Hollywood, Henry Cavill has cropped in the likes of Stardust and Tristan & Isolde, but is best known as Charles Brandon in The Tudors.
But, why is he known as the unluckiest actor in Hollywood? Well, Henry Cavill has, over the past few years, auditioned for nearly every possible hero franchise Hollywood has put into production. He auditioned for the role of Superman, but lost out to Brandon Routh, and got down to the final two for James Bond, but lost to Daniel Craig after it was decided he was too young. He also got down to the final six for Batman, but lost to Christian Bale.
Currently starring in Greek myth actioner, Immortals as Thesesus, his star is on the rise, so he could be a possible contender. Plus, Nolan likes his leading men from the Commonwealth...
See: The Tudors
Another name rumoured for the role pre-Routh, Matthew Bomer is best known to viewers of Chuck as rogue spy, Bryce Larkin.
He has also starred in Flightplan and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning and is known to certain audience members, but with his all-American good looks and charm, Bomer could potentially be a great Superman.
However, at 5'11", it is possible he may be too short?
I know what you're thinking. Channing Tatum? Of Dear John and Step Up fame? Are you serious? This is probably a controversial choice, but Channing Tatum has worked with some solid directors recently including appearing in Michael Mann's Public Enemies. He is also currently working with Kevin Macdonald (Touching The Void, State Of Play) on The Eagle, where he stars as a Roman soldier, Marcus Aquila, so he is clearly becoming more and more bankable.
Hell, even Dear John proved this when it made close to $100 million at the US box office, not to mention the oddly successful G.I Joe.
The man has the looks, however, it remains to be seen whether he has the acting chops to play both Clark Kent and Superman.
A left-field choice, to be sure, but after doing well in sci-fi shows, Dollhouse and Battlestar Galactica, Tahmoh Penikett definitely has enough cult appeal to be a possible contender.
He has the height and the build, plus his character in Battlestar Galactica, Karl ‘Helo' Agathon, was often the more mild-mannered, moral compass amongst the ship's Viper pilots.
See: Battlestar Galactica
Once the punch line to a joke, Ben Affleck has transformed himself from mocked star of films such as Pearl Harbor and Gigli to critically acclaimed director of The Town and Gone Baby Gone.
Following Clint Eastwood's example, Affleck has evolved into a serious actor, with lauded performances in State Of Play and Hollywoodland, where he played Superman actor, George Reeves. Despite portraying Reeve's tragic downfall, Affleck showed he had the looks and charisma to possible pull off Superman, albeit in a cheesy 50s way.
However, as he is now more of a director than an actor, getting Affleck to don the cape may be a stretch, especially as he claimed that after the Daredevil debacle he wouldn't care to wear any tights in the near future.
Who would make your list of potentials? Add their names to the comments...