This isn’t about being for or against the Snyderverse. This is about an iconic character and who should play him. Right now we have an awesome TV version of Superman. Tyler Hoechlin is doing a great job portraying the Man of Steel. “Superman & Lois” is a dream come true for some fans and Tyler’s take on the character as both Clark and Superman is just what many fans have been looking for. So do we need a movie Superman now that we have such a great portrayal on television? My answer is yes. And who should we get to play him? Why none other then Henry Cavill.
When I saw “Man of Steel” in the theater I was very torn. This was a rather polarizing take on Superman and his world. I’m not saying this to be negative but we must admit this was not the Superman we’d come to recognize from comics and other media. This was something very different and I have to say I didn’t enjoy Snyder’s vision of Superman and his world. No I didn’t hate it but there were many things I could argue against it. But not the actor who played him.
When I first saw a picture of Henry Cavill in the costume I was very impressed. Handsome, tall, muscular… he really fit that suit. I was not familiar with him as an actor but just looking at him told me this is the guy to play my favorite character. So when I saw the movie the actor didn’t disappoint but the movie did. While I do like certain things about it I found more to complain then praise. If I had any problem with the portrayal it was with the writers and director not the actor. I was very impressed with Cavill. Not only did he look the part but you could see through the performance that Cavill could be a great Superman.
From “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” to “Justice League” (both versions) it seemed that there was a better version trying to come out. If you didn’t like Cavill’s portrayal don’t blame the actor. Henry Cavill loves Superman. He’s said it many times and has given many not too subtle hints he would love to continue. If we do get that long awaited true sequel to “Man of Steel” or maybe a new version all together why get another actor? Cavill is not a slave to the Snyderverse. He can play any version that’s given to him. Whether it’s a period piece or something more contemporary or just a whole new take all together, we need look no further than Henry Cavill. He’s a terrific actor and has proven he can play the hero. I for one look forward to it.
Henry Cavill was an excellent Superman in a series of movies with severely diminishing returns.
As much as I love Tyler Hoechlin (I really do) and liked Tom Welling (Seasons 1-4 of “Smallville” were solid gold), in their portrayals of Superman they’re both doing varying shades of a Christopher Reeve impression.
Which is fine. I love Chris Reeve. He was my Superman, so versions of the character that feel like his feel right.
But I really, truly appreciated that Cavill did something different with Superman in general, and Clark Kent in particular. When I read “Superman: Earth One” I was irritated by the framing of Superman as a reluctant hero. In “Man of Steel” and its sequels, Cavill taps into that same feel as Clark, but it works because Superman is very clearly the real version of the person, in a way that I never quite picked up on with Reeve and his imitators. And that version of Superman is, for a while at least, elated to be in the sky. Henry’s Clark is… nuanced. Weighted in a way that his Superman isn’t. I really dug that.
Unfortunately, Cavill’s run as Superman was confined to 2/3rds of one good movie. And I suspect that was the 2/3rds that Christopher Nolan oversaw before deciding that Zack Snyder would be fine without him and left Zack to then burn it all to ashes. Like Metropolis in the last third of that film. Heh.
“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and “Justice League” (both versions) are BAD movies. I’d almost argue they’re “Howard the Duck” levels of bad. Which is a shame because almost all the character work in them is amazing. Especially, but definitely not limited to Superman.
Which is the first reason Henry needs to hang up his cape.
As good as his Superman was, he’s tainted. Another director with another story could probably do wonderful things with his version of the character, but the audience would never tolerate it. Snyder fans would complain that he’d been watered down or neutered in a conventional Superman story. Snyder haters and the ambivalent would be lost trying to figure out where the character fits relative to what came before. Would he be the same Superman, or a different version, played by the same actor, absent any continuity?
You see the problem?
The other reason I’d like him to move on is a representation issue. Every film version of Superman and most of the TV ones have all been kind of… samey. Krypton is another planet. It seems highly unimaginative to assume that Superman would just kind of look like a more muscly version of Siegel and Shuster. As Marlon Brando once asked, “How do we know that Kryptonians don’t look like bagels?”
The world is ready for a blonde Superman. Or a black Superman. Cast an indegenous actor in the role. Play with the dynamic of someone who would be a minority in rural Kansas also being an alien in rural Kansas. Give me a Superman whose empathy for the downtrodden comes from an immigrant perspective, both visual and actual.
A huge part of what made Cavill’s Superman such a breath of fresh air were the things he did differently from past iterations. Let’s keep flying in that direction.