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First Picture of Henry Cavill as Superman Looks Pretty Darn Cool

Warner Brothers just released the first picture of Henry Cavill as Superman.

That’s pretty darn cool looking.

47 Comments

It’s a Zack Snyder film, so of course it looks cool. Just don’t be expecting it to do too much else.

With his hair all jelled back like that, he looks like Diedrich Bader (Oswald, from the Drew Carey Show, if you recall). I like the return of the big ‘S’, but the blue of the suit looks kinda dark, and the whole suit looks pretty latex-y/shiny.

He’s gonna trip over that long of a cape!

But, wait … is this a Superman movie with Superman doing something … heroic? NO WAY.

Seriously, though, either Henry packed on a ton of muscle FAST, or that’s a really great padded suit.

Zack Snyder, time to step up to the plate and show you can bring emotions with your spectacle. But even if it’s a bunch of soulless CGI like Green Lantern, at least it’ll be pretty (and feature Superman doing something this time).

Looks grim ‘n gritty!

Looks cool; much, much better costume than the Returns suit. Not a fan of the slicked back hair, though; looks too “Lois & Clark”. Should’ve kept the spit curl! But I hope they went old school and included the yellow S shield on the cape. I hate when they get lazy and omit that in cartoons and movies. Very excited for this movie, but man is June of ’13 so long away.

WOW. WOW WOW WOW.

That looks GREAT. I mean, it looks really, REALLY great.

Brandon Routh did as good a job as he could, but he faced a fundamental problem, in that modern American guys today have more of a manchild look. Even though Routh was around same age as Christopher Reeve when he played Superman, and even resembled him, he just had a Dawson’s Creek vibe to him throughout. He never had the gravitas of a man. I always think Superman should have a slight father figure vibe to him,an air of authority, and Routh felt like a well-built beach volleyball player or surfer, just a “cool bro.”

People like Routh and Welling had the physiques but not the gravitas and adult vibe needed. George Reeves felt more like he had the gravitas but his physique and look was not very impressive. His suit was obviously padded with fake muscles. Christopher Reeve had the combination of both traits, but he is from a different era. With American men today, they mature much less slowly and come off childish for longer.

Cavill looks like a MAN. I think going for a foreigner was a good move for Warner Bros. My only complaint is the hair is a little too poofy on the sides and there’s no spit curl. I’d like the hair to be more like the traditional comic look. Also, not a fan of the muted colors. However those are very minor complaints. Overall I’m VERY impressed. Good job by Warner Bros.

Also, I’m very, very encouraged that Zach Snyder is doing this. He has done some of the best comic adaptations to date.

Zack Snyder, time to step up to the plate and show you can bring emotions with your spectacle.

I think he did a great job showing that with 300 and Watchmen. I felt emotionally engaged with both.

>> Diedrich Bader (Oswald, from the Drew Carey Show, if you recall).

Who also currently voices Batman on Batman: Brave and Bold.

So far the new Superman looks okay, but he’d better have the traditional shorts on, and his hair needs work. Very glad to see the emphasis on Action here.

This does look good. But I also saw Sucker Punch yesterday, so I am filled with dread by another Zack Snyder movie.

Seriously, though, either Henry packed on a ton of muscle FAST, or that’s a really great padded suit.

Far as I remember, Henry Cavill has always been in good shape. He’s leaner now, sure, but he’s not that much bigger from before, based on shirtless scenes I remember from the Tudors. Watch the first season of the Tudors for example

Here he is currently.
http://justjared.buzznet.com/2010/05/16/shirtless-henry-cavill/

T, I’m curious what there was in 300 that you felt emotionally engaged with. Was it just getting wrapped up in the GRAAAAAAAHHHH!!!!! of it all, or did you get more from it than that?

Hey T – Yeah, I’ve seen that pic of Cavill before (that’s actually a year+ old). He’s always been in terrific shape, but very lean, as you noted. He’s much bulkier here (as he should be), whether by nature or by costuming. Either way, yay.

T, I’m curious what there was in 300 that you felt emotionally engaged with. Was it just getting wrapped up in the GRAAAAAAAHHHH!!!!! of it all, or did you get more from it than that?

300 only aimed for a few emotions. Testosterone-induced ones, like berserker rage, battle valor, fear and the self-sacrifice that comes in war…and it pretty much nailed the emotions it was aiming for. People may not admire the TYPE of emotions it was aiming for, just like some action movie fans may not like some of the “sappier” emotions filmmakers go for in tearjerkers, but to me there’s no doubt that Snyder nailed the emotions he was going for, whether they were admirable emotions or not.

In turn, I will ask a different but related question to you. What great, complex emotions and themes are so inherently necessary for the character of Superman that one needs a great auteur to tackle? I mean, have you read what Superman comics actually consisted of for a vast majority of their existence? It’s not exactly Dostoevsky or The Wire here. It’s pretty crude, simplistic and escapist junk.

And I don’t mean that as an insult. Junk has its place. We need junk. It is comforting. There’s a reason why junk food is also called comfort food. If I had to live in a world of nothing but steaks and organic vegetables I’d go crazy. I love those things, but there’s also a feeling I get from a good greasy burger and fries that I know a grass-fed steak and organic vegetables won’t give me, even if they are “better” for me. I’ll give another example: fried chicken. Fried chicken is one of those foods if you go to ghetto with it, it is pretty bad. But if you go too highbrow with it, it’s even worse. I’ve gone to many “gourmet” highbrow fried chicken spots that get recommended by NY Times food reviews and they are soulless and somehow lacking, even though I know objectively they’re more gourmet and high quality. Some things, like fried chicken, actually start to lose some of their charm and kick once you try to make them too highbrow and complex. Superheroes, to me, are one of them.

For the level of emotions and characterization and complexity the Superman character requires, I’d go so far as to say Snyder is probably OVERqualified for the role if anything.

*fist shaking in the air* When will congress investigate Hollywood for PEDs!

Is it just me, or does he look disturbingly like Mel Kiper Jr. in this picture?

In turn, I will ask a different but related question to you. What great, complex emotions and themes are so inherently necessary for the character of Superman that one needs a great auteur to tackle?

I’d have to defer that question to someone else who was even implicitly making that argument. I’m just the guy who implicitly (and indeed in fact) thought 300 was a dumb movie.

But I certainly agree that there’s a place for big dumb movies. I’ve always felt that any Mark Millar film adaptation should be directed by Michael Bay, because any Millar comic reads like a Michael Bay flick anyway. (I first really thought about that with The Ulltimates, but I just read Nemesis for the first time, and holy crap on a crap cracker, that’s the epitome of what I’m talking about..)

I’d have to defer that question to someone else who was even implicitly making that argument. I’m just the guy who implicitly (and indeed in fact) thought 300 was a dumb movie.

Your explicitly stated question was about emotional engagement in 300, not just whether or not it was dumb.

A movie can be dumb as hell and emotionally engaging. A movie can be super-smart yet be emotionally sterile and unengaging. That was my point about 300. Whether or not it was smart or not is irrelevant to whether or not people found it emotionally engaging. Even if it revulses you, that’s still a form of emotional engagement

By bringing up how dumb and lacking in emotional engagement 300 was, the implication seemed to be that Zack Snyder wasn’t qualified to do a good Superman movie. Which is why I made the point that part of the charm of the Superman concept is that it’s inherently dumb and emotionally two-dimensional as well, and often works better that way. So to me the fact Snyder makes emotionally flat and dumb movies that are heavy on spectacle is an endorsement to me of how appropriate he is to direct a Superman movie.

I fail to see how I misinterpreted you.

Yeah, I understand that you were conflating my question with the stated opinions of previous commenters, because I was responding to your response to them, and so you were seeing it in that context. But I just saw that you said you were emotionally involved in 300, and I though, “300? Really? What on earth was there in that movie to get wrapped up in?” So I asked my question, and you took from it an interpretation that has nothing to do with anything I personally believe. It happens.

I have no real opinion about Snyder’s qualifications overall. I thought Watchmen was adequate–which in itself was a triumph, given how notoriously difficult that comic was going to be to capture on film–and I don’t have any plans to see Sucker Punch, but that has nothing to do with Snyder. It just looks like a lousy movie, and I’ve heard it’s a lousy movie, so I’ll skip it. I’ll certainly see the Superman movie, though. Bryan Singer had fine credentials, and he made a lousy Superman movie. Most of Ang Lee’s movies are terrific, but his Hulk was … not well received. So the track record only means so much anyway.

ok buttler, i understand where you’re coming from now.

No thanks, SUPERMAN only works in Comics. (as actually do all Superheroes)

Glad that’s settled, mckracken. I’m sure we’ve heard the last of superhero movies.

Pretty much love this picture. My only comment would be that I really, really like the more brightly colored Superman costume. When I saw the Superman Returns costume, I immediately thought about when Supes descended into madness in Superman III. Made me think of a less bright Superman, or less ‘good’ hero. Kind of experiencing the same thing with this poster. I suppose I’ll forever be hamstrung by the Reeve films. It’s not a big deal though. This looks great, can’t wait.

Not a fan. Shouldn’t Superman be colorful? Not just the man, I mean, but his world.

His hair is a problem as well. I get that nobody is born with Superman’s do, but that amount of product is gonna pull me out of story. The whole movie I’ll be thinking “Gee, Superman, I bet you could have saved a lot of lives in the time you spent fussing over your hair.”

That looks awesome, even Reevian almost.

Ernst Borgnine

August 4, 2011 at 2:11 pm

That most certainly does not look “Reevian.” Cool, maybe. But not at all like Christopher Reeve. They’re trying to go in a completely opposite direction. I myself don’t like the hair,extra-long cape, or the director, but still hope it can be a pretty good movie. There’s good talent involved.
This may not make much sense, but, instead of looking like Superman, doesn’t this look like a guy in a Superman costume to you guys? I just mean a quick eyeball-test. Routh wasn’t perfect, but when you saw him, he was instantly recognizable as the Superman character. This is kinda like a buff dude at a convention.

All’s I’m saying is that Superman movies should be colorful, not grey and drab.

Wasn’t Routh’s costume grey and drab as well.

Also, despite the spit curl, I don’t think Routh looked more like Superman than Cavill. I just couldn’t get past the boyish vibe and voice. Felt like I was watching an Abercrombie model in a Superman suit.

He’s gotta earn the curl!

That’s a great looking picture. I’m not sure if I want to see the “darker’ Superman movie I’m sure this will be touted as, but that individual picture gives me hope that the quality of the visuals, at least, will be strong.

As to the emotional weight of a Superman story, the classic Weisenger era was all about melodrama and high-jinks. Superman pined for his lost planet while tricking Lois Lane. In the imaginary tales, Superman died or got married. In Jimmy Olsen, he tricked people into thinking he was a genii. He could never save Kandor and he could never be honest with Lois. Nothing incredibly deep, but heartstrings were tugged and funny bones were tickled. The villains were often defeated through trickery, nonsensical “science,” creative uses of powers, and the occasional feat of strength.

Modern Age Superman lost a lot of the humor and creative melodrama, and have often focused on Superman’s outward strength and inner alienation. The brains he needed to defeat Luthor were replaced by lots of punching to defeat Doomsday.

Yes, I’m grossly oversimplifying. There have been several good modern Superman comics. The transition from children’s character to a character for adults has altered the emotional content of Superman comics.

@ T.

Also, despite the spit curl, I don’t think Routh looked more like Superman than Cavill. I just couldn’t get past the boyish vibe and voice. Felt like I was watching an Abercrombie model in a Superman suit.

I thought Brandon Routh looked a bit like Wayne Boring’s Superman, but that wasn’t why they cast him. He was there to do a Chris Reeve impression. It is actually a pretty good performance considering he was an actor playing another actor playing a character with two identities. It could have been a train wreck. The history of actors trying to re-create film performances is not a good one.

Honestly, it may be the best performance of its kind.

@ Mike Loughlin:

Modern Age Superman lost a lot of the humor and creative melodrama, and have often focused on Superman’s outward strength and inner alienation. The brains he needed to defeat Luthor were replaced by lots of punching to defeat Doomsday.

Modern superhero stories (in general) and the Y2K version of DC (in particular) live mortal terror of humor being woven into their stories. It is as though the slightest wink will make the whole edifice collapse, unless Grant Morrison is involved. It has really, really damaged some of their franchises.

Superman has been hurt the worst by this attitude. He just does not work as a guy swinging from despair to anger. It is a genuine shame, because action/comedy and sci-fi/comedy are mash-ups that can play very well to adults.

Yeah, “Sucker Punch” was an un-involving visual spectacle with no emotional grounding or character work, a confusing expensive mess (or a weak but more costly stab at making a much cooler girl-action movie like “Bitch Slap” which had briefly sketched but effective characterization). But I have like a lot of his other films so we’ll see. I think the photo reminds me of the Fleischer animated Superman, go watch the episode “Electric Earthquake” on YouTube.

Yeah, I definitely recall giving Routh some extra credit for the insanely difficult role they were asking him to do. What a silly idea, though, to make an actor impersonate another actor doing a role.

I think Routh did a good job at playing Christopher Reeve playing Clark Kent because he didn’t have to really pull off gravity or maturity for that. It was playing Christopher Reeve playing Superman where he fell flat to me.

Yeah, he did pull off Reeve as Clark better than he did Reeve as Superman. Although, again, the more I talk about it, the dumber of an idea it sounds.

I agree, it does sound worse the more we discuss it, haha.

I think the big problem with Routh was that they overestimated the power of his look. He does have a resemblance to Christopher Reeve, although with a bit of Jason Schwatzman thrown in, but I think what made Christopher Reeve so good wasn’t just his look but his pedigree and his life story. He did a lot of dynamic things and displayed lots of leadership attributes in his 26 years of life before playing Superman. He came from a very impressive successful family, so he was surrounded by very mature and dynamic role models from birth. All these things combine to mature you quickly. He always pursued and mastered a lot of challenges. It’s kind of a sad irony that his highly dynamic life and constant pursuit of challenges was in a way responsible for him getting paralyzed.

If you read both of their Wikipedia articles describing their lives before coming to play Superman, their stories and depth of life experience and travels are radically different. Christopher Reeve was a genuinely remarkable human being for the sheer amount of life he lived and traveling he did in his 26 years before getting the Superman role. One notable quote from Reeve in his Wiki article is that he says he always tried to act older than he was in order to win his father’s approval. Meanwhile Routh in his wiki describes himself as a “momma’s boy,” and is from a generation where people take pride in acting younger than their age(“40 is the new 30″ and all that). This is why although both were 26 when doing the role, there seems to be a radical difference in mature presence.

I think that was a big problem with Singer is he approached everything superficially for the most part, getting Routh mostly based on his external appearance and then trying to superficially imitate the Donner films. But a huge part of Reeve’s appeal was what was inside. Routh had much more limited life experiences and was largely a fashion model and soap star. No slight against either profession, both are honest work, but when you read both their wikis you see what I mean. (I’d link to them but then this post would end up moderated)

I liked 300. I thought that it was a great movie for what it tried to be. I also thought that Brandon Routh was a good Superman and Clark but was saddled with an average (at best) movie. I wish that he had been given the chance to play Superman again in this version and am interested in what he would have brought to the table with a different story and director. And I seem to be in the minority but all that picture does for me is make me worry about the next Superman movie.

I actually agree with T on all counts (well, I didn’t like 300 so maybe not all counts). Routh looked way too young for the part (which makes even less sense if you consider that he’s supposed to be Christopher Reeve’s Superman, only older). I was pushing for Jon Hamm as Superman for precisely the same reason T mentions: to have someone with an adult look of authority. In this photo Henry Cavill pretty much nails it. I’m now officially excited.

Wish they’d go for a more classic S and less muted colours, but generally it’s an improvement over the Superman Returns costume.

(That said, as young and immature Routh looked– Kate Bosworth looked ten times younger as Lois Lane.)

Kate Bosworth looked like a kid playing dress-up with her mom’s clothes.

Graeme -

I’m not saying 300 was great or even good. I’m just saying I ENJOYED it for what it was nonetheless. In fact I could see why you and many people would actually hate it. I just think it accomplished the goals is set out to accomplish: duplicate the look and feel of Miller’s book and engage (very) primal emotions. I checked my brain at the door before watching it, but even then I can admit it had many flaws.

Also, totally agree on Bosworth. Didn’t get that casting at all.

Kate Bosworth looked like a kid playing dress-up with her mom’s clothes.

It boggles my mind to this day that she and Routh were even cast. Singer co-wrote the script. It’s clearly meant to be about Christopher Reeve’s and Margot Kidder’s characters 6 years after Superman II. It requires casting people who look as though they’re credibly in their 30s. Not teenagers.

(I like Brandon Routh by the way– he’s one of my favourite things in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World)

(I like Brandon Routh by the way– he’s one of my favourite things in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World)

Oh yeah, same here. He’s a good actor and I enjoy him a lot when he’s cast correctly.

Can’t tell for sure what the colors of the suit are until we see it in daylight. But, the design looks good. Glad Snyder didn’t go with a real abstract design.I would’ve liked to see a photo of Cavill in the Reeve costume when he did the screen test. I’ll bet he looked good in that too. And regardless what others might say, Reeve’s costume would have worked. Let’s face it, we’d go to see the picture anyway. It’s Superman! But Superman has to have the curl. And, if you look in the comics, his hair is always parted on his left therefore giving the curl an S shape. If his hair was parted on the right, as Routh’s hair, it would be an S backwards. Reeve’s hair was perfect, just like in the comics. Cavill will do a great job, I’ve got a good feeling that he will be a great Superman. And he can act. But , 2013? What a wait. The rest of the cast is teriffic. I am a big Amy Adams fan. She will do a great job as Lois Lane.

Just a small note in defense of Brandon Routh. I think he did a good job despite the the director having him do an impression of Christopher Reeve. That was Bryan Singer’s fault. Routh didn’t stand a chance with the script for Superman Returns. Routh is an actor, not an impersonator.For those putting him down as the man of steel,cut him some slack. He deserves better.

I don’t really like it. The cape’s too long, the colors are too dark and he looks like a Goodfella with that greasy hair.

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