Warner Bros. has cast The Tudors co-star Henry Cavill as the lead in Zack Snyder's Superman movie, Deadline reports.
The 27-year-old British actor had previously been a front-runner to play the Man of Steel in the planned Superman: Flyby under McG and then Brett Ratner. But when Bryan Singer came on-board to direct Superman Returns, he of course cast Brandon Routh.
Curiously Cavill's name had been absent from recent casting rumors, which had included everyone from Matthew Goode to Armie Hammer to even Jon Hamm. Just this week, True Blood star Joe Manganiello confirmed he was up for the role of the Last Son of Krypton. So Cavill's casting may come as a bit of a surprise. However, his age and height -- he's 6'1" -- certainly meet the studio requirements. And he certainly looks the part.
"In the pantheon of superheroes, Superman is the most recognized and revered character of all time, and I am honored to be a part of his return to the big screen," Snyder said in a statement. "I also join Warner Bros., Legendary and the producers in saying how excited we are about the casting of Henry. He is the perfect choice to don the cape and S shield."
"He's got an amazing quality," a Warner Bros. executive tells Deadline. "He doesn't look too much like Reeve and Routh but he's big and strong and he has a very modern feel to him. We're really going to try and make Superman as contemporary as possible."
Cavill next stars with Bruce Willis and Sigourney Weaver in the conspiracy thriller The Cold Light of Day, and with Mickey Rourke and John Hurt in director Tarsem Singh's Immortals.
Snyder's Superman reboot, thought to be called Man of Steel, is written by David S. Goyer from a story by Goyer and producer Christopher Nolan. Charles Rovan, Emma Thomas and Deborah Snyder also are producing. Thomas Tull and Lloyd Phillips are executive producers. Filming is expected to begin in June for a December 2012 release.