Weekly Wrap-Up, February 4th – Special Edition!

Foreign Flyers on Local Land
If you haven’t already heard, the big news this week was the casting of Henry Cavill in Zack Snyder’s Untitled Superman Reboot. Cavill is best known for his role as Charles Brandon on The Tudors, however the thing that most people seem to be talking about this week is the fact that Cavill is British. Everyone, including Anglophenia,  Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert, and the Onion is talking about how Cavill’s casting means that we now have a British Superman in addition to our British Batman and British Spider-Man.
Hey, he looks like a Kansas farm boy to me.
While Cavill’s casting is certainly huge news, his lack of American citizenship is not. In this very special Weekly Wrap-Up, let’s take a look back at some of the actors who have played heroes in the Golden Age Superhero Films.
The following is a list of all of the foreign actors who have appeared in starring roles in Superhero Films:
Key: Role: Actor, Nationality
Wolverine: Hugh Jackman, Australian (although Wolverine is supposed to be Canadian, not American)
Professor Xavier (2000-2006): Patrick Stewart, British (character is British)
Hulk (2003): Eric Bana, Australian
Batman: Christian Bale, British
Mr. Fantastic: Ioan Gruffudd, Welsh
Kick-Ass: Aaron Johnson, English
The Green Hornet: Seth Rogen, Canadian
Thor: Chris Hemsworth, Australian
Professor Xavier (2011): James McAvoy, British (character is English)
Green Lantern: Ryan Reynolds, Canadian
Spider-Man (2012): Andrew Garfield, British

And now, the American actors who have played superheroes:

Blade: Wesley Snipes
Spider-Man (2002-2007): Tobey Maguire
Daredevil: Ben Affleck
Superman: Brandon Routh
Ghost Rider: Nic Cage
Iron Man: Robert Downey Jr
Hulk (2008): Edward Norton
Captain America: Chris Evans (although production mainly took place in England)11 Foreigners to 8 Americans. And of all the Superhero Films coming out in the next two years, only two have American stars (three if you include The Avengers).

Over half of all the major superheroes have been played by foreigners, most of them Brits. So what’s the big deal about Cavill? Yes, Superman is one of the most iconically American superheroes, and sure he’s got “American Way” right there in his motto, but is it really so different from having a British Batman or Spider-Man? Christian Bale’s performance as the Dark Knight has outshined every American actor who came before him, why shouldn’t we give Cavill a chance to do the same with the Man of Steel? Do we really want to insist on American actors if it means our heroes will be played by the likes of Ben Affleck and Nic Cage? And Superman isn’t even actually American; he’s Kryptonian! I, for one, think that Cavill is a great choice for the role and I can’t wait to see him take to the skies!

What do you think of Cavill as Clark Kent/Superman?

About the author

David Molofsky

David is the Owner & Editor-in-Chief of AP2HYC.