Meet the New Superman -- British Actor Henry Cavill

Henry Cavill has been cast as the Man of Steel in the latest Superman reboot.  The movie will be directed by Zack Snyder and Cavill will either rocket to superstardom if the film is great or suffer as Brandon Routh did if the movie is mediocre. The news here, though, is that the young star of The Tudors is yet another British actor playing the role of an American.

The list of Brits playing characters from the United States is long and noteworthy, including Hugh Laurie in House MD and Jake Weber in Medium. Some failed to grab mainstream attention with their Americanized roles, such as Michelle Ryan in the Bionic Woman remake and Joseph Fiennes in FlashForward.  Let's not talk about Australians (Anna Torv in Fringe) or Canadians (William Shatner in $#!+ My Dad Says) playing Americans or we'll be here all night.

It is tough to find a more American character than Superman, raised in Kansas to become the defender of "truth, justice, and the American way." Casting a British actor to play Clark Kent is like casting an American to play James Bond or Doctor Who. 

I am sure Cavill is talented enough to pull it off.  He will face the same challenges to make his portrayal believable as British actor Andrew Garfield will face playing New York City teen Peter Parker in the upcoming Spider-man re-imagining.  I am not knocking their credentials or their acting skills.  Let us not forget that United Kingdom born and raised Christian Bale gave a superb performance as the Caped Crusader in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.  I only wonder, are there no qualified American actors to do the job?

I hope I don't sound like a bitter American, but my British friends have Shakespeare, can't they let us have our superheroes?  :)


Anonymous said…
You're right. There would be a complete uproar if they tried to cast an American as Doctor Who, so why is this ok? It seems a bit odd. Oh well, I hope he at least has a decent American accent.

stevenjohnston said…
For the last 4 regenerations of Doctor Who at least, the newspapers always kick up a fuss about how the next Doctor might be black, a woman or heaven forbid.... not British.

There's actually been a non-British James Bond by the way. George Lazenby was an Aussie. Just do the accent right and no one really cares.
Nick said…
E - Imagine if they cast an American as Harry Potter. :)

Steven - Very true. But I think the Brits would be more upset with an Amercian in the part of James Bond. But you're right, if an actor can pull it opff and make it believable, it shouldn't matter where he's from. I just wonder that there aren't apparently any US actors suitable for Superman.