In the words of a song borrowed by a previous Zack Snyder film, the times they are a-changin’.
The Dark Knight Trilogy is over, Robert Downey Jr. might not be Iron Man for much longer, and Superman, the Big Blue Boy Scout himself, finally seems to have grown up.
Say what you want about the Christopher Reeve films, they certainly weren’t lacking for camp or innocent charm. Closer in tone to Adam West‘s Batman than Christian Bale‘s, Superman I – IV were, to different extents, a whole lot of fantastic fun, but hardly worthy of serious critical analysis. You might believe a man could fly, but you’d be hard pressed to squeeze out a thesis on them as integral works of cinema (the flying part aside).
One of the primary criticisms of Bryan Singer‘s 2007 follow-up, Superman Returns, was that it didn’t do anything new with the franchise, but was content instead simply to act as a love letter for what had come before.
Snyder’s upcoming Man of Steel promises a gritty, moody take on the character, complete with serious daddy issues and a stunning orchestral score than eschews the iconic John Williams melody in favor of a more complex tribal affair. Stepping to the cape (sans those beloved briefs) is thirty-year old British actor Henry Cavill, taking over from Returns‘ Brandon Routh and, of course, Reeve, who played the role for almost a decade.
Cavill, like Routh and Reeve before him, is something of an unknown quantity: despite holding a main cast role in Showtime’s The Tudors alongside Jonathan Rhys-Meyers and starring as Theseus in Tarsem Singh‘s Immortals back in 2011, you’d probably be hard pressed to recognize him out and about.
As such, here are 5 things you probably don’t know about Mr. Cavill, Man of Steel:
5. He’s the Shortest On-Screen Superman Since 1997
One of the overwhelming impressions you’d imagine you might have when coming across Superman during your day-to-day life as a citizen of Metropolis is that he’s tall. The Silver Age incarnation of the character was apparently 6’6″ (heck, Batman was 6’4″) and while none of his on-screen incarnations have quite scaled those heights, they’ve tended to be a pretty lofty bunch.
Both Reeve and Routh top out at somewhere between 6’3″ and 6’4″, as does Smallville star Tom Welling, though Lois & Clark‘s Dean Cain apparently stands at about the 6′ mark. George Reeves and the little-known Kirk Alyn, the first actor to portray Superman, were 6’1″ and it seems that Henry Cavill is in the same ballpark, making him the shortest on-screen Superman since Lois & Clark finished back in 1997.
Though this may sound like a criticism, we at AP2HYC realize that, in real-world terms, 6’1″ is plenty tall. It’s more about the presence an actor can bring to the role than sheer physicality, though, by the look of the trailer, Cavill is definitely bringing both.