Last June, there was little hint that Christopher Nolan would produce and Zack Snyder would direct a new incarnation of “Superman.” Sure, David Goyer and Jonathan Nolan had been brought on board to write a new screenplay, but with the legal rights to the Man of Steel still being battled in court between Warner Bros., DC Comics and the estates of Supes’ creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster the legitimacy of the project seemed in doubt. Fast forward a few months and Nolan is the surprise producer of the project and then another few months and Snyder is tackling the most iconic superhero of all time. Today, things really started moving as Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures announced that Henry Cavill, best known for his work on Showtime’s “The Tudors,” would take over the role of Superman.
While there has been some negative online commentary regarding the Brit Cavill playing a signature American role, this isn’t the first time the 27-year-old actor had even been considered for the part. HitFix and other assembled members of the media spoke to Cavill about his previous “Superman” experiences while visiting the set of Tarsem Singh’s “The Immortals” seven months ago in Montreal. On that day Cavill, who looks strikingly like the hero in person, was mostly focused on playing the Greek hero Theseus, but did go down memory lane for what he believed was his only shot to play Kal-El. Unfortunately, McG, the director of “Charlies Angels” and “Terminator Salvation,” was at the helm.
“It must have been four or five years ago. Maybe more? When McG was working on a script with [Warner Bros.],” Cavill says. “I’m not sure how close I came? I’m not going to repeat rumors or hearsay, but I understand it was very, very close. But, sadly, the movie was canceled because McG didn’t want to fly.”
Cavill continues, “He had a big fear of flying at the time. And I think he’s since overcome it, but he wanted to shoot in New York and they wanted to shoot in Australia — for obvious reasons — and he said, ‘O.K., no I can’t do it.’ And they said, ‘O.K., we’ll move on.’ And that’s Hollywood, it’s a business.”
Instead, Warner Bros. plucked Bryan Singer who was in pre-production on “X-Men: The Last Stand” for Fox to take over the tentpole and he went in a drastically different direction (Brandon Routh) with his misfire “Superman Returns.”
Asked at the time if he’d want to be considered to play “Superman” in the future, Cavill was honestly hesitant having been burned before saying, “Who knows, who knows. We’ll see.”
But as a long time fan favorite would he talk if they came calling?
“Very much so,” Cavill says. “It all depends on the script and the director and not in that order necessarily.”
Something tells us with Nolan and Snyder on board it was a quick conversation.
Warner Bros. new “Superman” is set to debut sometime in Dec. of 2012, but Cavill will be seen in “Immortals” on Nov. 11, 2011 or 11/11/11.