I'm pretty sure the Screen Actor's Guild passed a bylaw recently that says every working actor must take a role in a superhero movie. Even so, there are certain roles that have to be among the most daunting to approach, and I would imagine there is no more that is more simultaneously terrifying and thrilling to learn you're going to play than Superman.
Even James Bond isn't the same level of pressure. Superman is enough of an icon to scare an actor, but when you consider how iconic and beloved the work of Christopher Reeve was, there's a reason no one's been able to claim the role as their own since then. When I met Cavill for the first time, it was only a few days after he was announced as the star of "Man Of Steel," and I was at WonderCon to moderate a panel with him for the film "Immortals." It was a kick to introduce the new Superman to an audience, and he handled himself with grace at the event, as well as in the interview we did that same day, where we talked about the first time he wore the suit for his audition.
You should check that older interview out, by the way, for my most egregious screw-up in an interview ever, and the absolutely hilarious way that Cavill responded.
At the time, I said he seemed like a very promising choice, but I had no idea how I'd feel about the finished film. While I'm embargoed from reviewing the film, I'll just say that I have a terrible poker face, and if you watch this interview and you're still not sure which side I'm coming down on, you may not be paying attention.
Cavill has done something I didn't think was possible. For the first time ever, I wasn't thinking about Reeve at the end of the film. I don't think Cavill is working in his shadow because I don't think they're playing the same character. At all. Whatever you think of "Man Of Steel," it marks the beginning of a bold new chapter in what has become the most durable modern American myth, and Cavill's are the capable hands that have been trusted with carrying the ball for the moment.
"Man Of Steel" opens June 14th, and you will believe all over again.