The steady march of January Movie announcements continues apace as Warner Bros announced yesterday that British actor, Henry Carvill will be taking on the role of the Man of Steel in the upcoming Zach Snyder helmed reboot of the Superman movie franchise.
Carvill is perhaps best known for his role as The Duke of Suffolk in the popular, fact dodging, historical soap The Tudors, though you may also have caught him in the 2007 Matthew Vaughn movie, Stardust. In keeping with tradition for casting reboots of big comic book franchises, he’s a relative unknown. Seems like an odd trend but when you think about the fact that Warner seem to want to make a series of films off the back of this, going for a newer (read cheaper) actor over a big name makes sense. In reality you could probably put Rolf Harris in the suit and the film would sell. That’s not to say that the casting is cynical. Carvill is a fine actor and given some of the names that are behind the casting process on this movie, you can probably feel safe putting a bit of faith in the chap.
Perhaps the most significant thing about the choice is that Carvill is British. Think about that for a moment, that’s Spider-man, Batman, the supporting cast of Thor, most of the X-Men and now Supes himself all played by British actors. It seems kinda strange, especially when you factor in that Superman is supposed to be the very embodiment of the American dream, but it’s hard to knock it. With British actors dominating the portrayal of superheroes on screen and British creators taking up a huge slice of the comics market itself, it’s truly a good time to be British and Geeky.
It’s fairly hard to speculate much further on what this film will hold as it’s still a long way off. Personally I’m not a massive fan of Snyder as a director of comic book films. 300 and Watchmen were both enjoyable but they were pretty much just copy-pastes from page to screen and they left me kinda wondering why I’d paid for a cinema ticket when I could have stayed home and gotten exactly the same experience from the book (albeit with added space squid). But with Chris Nolan and David Goyer handling the writing and production of the film, maybe letting Snyder turn up and press the slow-mo/fast-mo a few times each scene might not be so terrible.
It’ll take a lot to drag Supes out of the bog it’s been in since Superman Returns (a movie from that odd little era where directors thought that having superheroes get into fights with topographical features was a good idea…yes Ang Lee, we’re looking at you too) but Carvill’s casting seems to indicate that things are heading in the right direction. As a fan of paragon heroes I for one will be more than happy if they mange to pull this one off and give us a man of steel to be proud of.
But they better cast a British dog as Krypto or I’m out.