13 Actors Who Could Replace Henry Cavill As Superman (And 12 We Don’t Want)

What is going on over at Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment? On September 12th, the internet exploded over the news that Henry Cavill was reportedly departing from the role of Superman and the DC Extended Universe. The initial report — which stemmed from a dispute over scheduling a cameo in Shazam! — has led many to believe that Cavill will no longer play Superman and that the role will be recast or rebooted in a future film. Follow-up reports suggested the DC was already looking at replacements, but then DC made an official statement suggesting none of the news was true. To top it all off, Cavill posted an extremely cryptic video on social media that provides more questions than answers. Is he still Superman? Is he being replaced? Is this all one giant publicity stunt?

Whether he’s leaving the role or not, he probably doesn’t want to be remembered only as “the Superman in the bad DC movies” nor does he want his entire career to revolve around that character. Maybe he’s looking at other options, maybe it’s all a misunderstanding, but it seems as his tenure wearing the cape is in question. With that said, he can’t be Superman forever. While he’s hardly had the chance to prove himself as Superman, it seems that fans are already putting thought into his potential replacement. Hopefully Henry Cavill stays onboard, but if not, let’s take a look at who could possibly don the cape next.

Here are 13 Actors Who Could Replace Henry Cavill As Superman (And 12 We Don’t Want).

25 Good Choice: Michael B. Jordan

Recasting Superman with an actor of a different race is an idea that will both excite and outrage. One thing is certain though: Michael B. Jordan is at the height of his popularity, and he’s got the acting chops to handle the role. He’s reportedly the leading choice to replace Cavill already. He might be a little aloof for the warm and innocent Clark Kent, but he would be an inspired choice that would totally revamp the character.

Of course, fans have also suggested that he would also make a great Val-Zod, the Superman of DC Comics’ Earth- 2. An alternate dimensional Superman is still Superman, so why not?

24 Don’t Want: Jon Hamm

Jon Hamm is a popular choice among fans for both Superman and Batman. He’s likeable, talented, and he has the dark hair and strong jawline that superheroes tend to require. However, he’s just not right for Superman. We’re not saying he couldn’t pull it off — maybe it’s because of his time as Don Draper on Mad Men — but his cool, intense aesthetic seems more suited to Bruce Wayne than the chivalrous Man of Steel. Good thing too, as the news of Ben Affleck leaving the Batman role seems ever-present, and Hamm has confirmed interest in taking over.

Hamm for Superman? No thanks. Hamm for Batman? Yes, please.

23 Good Choice: Armie Hammer

Another very popular choice among fans, Armie Hammer was nearly Batman in the cancelled George Miller film Justice League Mortal and was reportedly in the running for Superman in Man of Steel. Henry Cavill was obviously the final choice, but why not give Hammer a shot? He has the good looks and he’s a very talented actor, and he’s already been up for at least two different superhero roles. He hasn’t had a part in any major blockbuster franchise, but perhaps that’s because he’s waiting for the right superhero role to come his way. Maybe this time?

22 Don’t Want: Channing Tatum

Tatum’s name has been in the mix for plenty of Superman fan-casting lists, but we’re not sure why. Sure, he’s handsome and he’s very funny, but his roles are never in line with Superman’s persona. It’s hard to separate Tatum from his comedic roles in films like 21 Jump Street and Logan Lucky, and it’s even more difficult to picture Superman as a lovable goof. This isn’t to say that he can only play goofy roles, but Tatum is at his most charismatic when he’s channeling his own brand of humor.

Besides, he’s probably busy with being chained to the Gambit film that may or may not actually exist.

21 Good Choice: James Marsden

He’s probably not the first person that comes to mind, but James Marsden would make a fantastic Superman. He’s best known for playing Cyclops in the X-Men films and he’s doing great work on Westworld as Teddy Flood, but he has the build and talent that would perfectly suit the red and blue boy scout. Marsden would make for a recognizable choice, but not so recognizable that it would take viewers out of the movie. Besides, he’s got that dashing all-American look and more than enough charisma to go around — and if you need proof of the latter, see Enchanted. 

20 Don’t Want: Charlie Hunnam

Charlie Hunnam hasn’t struck gold in his blockbuster movie roles, but he seems to fit the Superman mold. He’s handsome, fit, and has the tough exterior that comes with being a superhero. However, he tends to come off a bit too edgy and grizzled in his roles for someone as clean and idealistic as Superman. Is it possible that someone can seem too tough to play Superman? Charlie Hunnam might fall into that category… or maybe we’ve just been watching too much Sons of Anarchy. He might be better suited for a someone like Green Arrow —  after all, he looks just like the character without even trying.

19 Good Choice: Liam Hemsworth

If Warner Bros. wants a new superhero franchise after Cavill’s exit, than they had better start young. Liam Hemsworth, brother to Thor’s Chris Hemsworth, would make an interesting choice for Superman. Dark hair, handsome, built — he checks all of Superman’s physical boxes. His youth is both a pro and a con, as it might take some time before audiences can take him seriously as a fully-formed Superman, but his age also gives a franchise of films time to gestate without having to worry about the actor getting too old. He probably won’t be many fans’ first choice, but he might be worth consideration.

18 Don’t Want: Tom Hardy

Like Charlie Hunnam, Tom Hardy is way too rough-and-tumble to play Superman. He’s definitely a popular pick, but Hardy loves characters that are odd and eccentric — not quite the uplifting Superman persona fans would be used to. His role in Venom is evidence of this, and that movie isn’t even out yet. Don’t get us wrong, he’s a great actor, but he’s just not suited for someone so straightforward. Tom Hardy’s edge is iconic, and shoehorning him into a Superman costume may stifle that. But, if Venom fails and he ends up in the market for a new superhero role, he would make for a stellar Wolverine.

17 Good Choice: Sam Witwer

He might be one of the most obscure choices on this list, but Sam Witwer would make for a great Superman. Most would know him from the Star Wars universe (mainly as Starkiller in The Force Unleashed games), but he’s also played roles in smaller properties like Once Upon A Time, Battlestar Galactica, and coincidentally, Smallville. Like Henry Cavill at the time of his casting as Superman, Sam Witwer is a relatively unknown actor who wouldn’t bring much baggage to the role. Star Wars fans might need a minute for things to click into place, but he’s got the looks and charisma to take on a big role like Superman.

16 Don’t Want: Zac Efron

His Disney days are over, and Zac Efron has proven himself to be quite the hot commodity in Hollywood. He might sound like a good choice at first — young, fit, and still the heartthrob he used to be — but he’s still way too baby-faced to be a believable Superman. Even if Warner Bros. were to go younger with a new Superman, an entire generation still sees Efron as Troy from High School Musical. He’s also too charming for a  hopeful stoic like Superman — he would make a great Dick Grayson though, or even a younger Hal Jordan if a Green Lantern reboot ever comes to fruition.

15 Good Choice: Matt Bomer

Not only is he a critically acclaimed actor with a dense filmography under his belt, but Matt Bomer has actually played Superman before. He was the voice of Kal-El in the animated film Superman: Unbound and while his voice is certainly a good fit, he looks the part as well. He’s not famous enough for his appearance to be jarring, not unknown enough for fans to be unsure about his casting. He has a proven track record and would make for a solid choice, especially with great hair like that. Just give him Superman’s iconic strand of loose hair, and all he would need is a costume!

14 Don’t Want: Chris Evans

Chris Evans is perfect for the role. He’s got the looks, the build, and the attitude. He would make for a great Superman. Rather, he would make for a great Superman if he wasn’t so immediately recognizable as Steve Rogers in the Captain America films. Evans has more than proven himself to the Superman-type, main because of his work as Cap. Unfortunately, it will be way too hard for people to unsee the star-spangled costume. It would also cause an uproar in the Marvel and DC fan communities, so much so that Evans probably wouldn’t even want to glance at his social media. As perfect as it would be, he shouldn’t be Superman.

13 Good Choice: Justin Theroux

This one might be a bit outside-the-box, but Justin Theroux would make for an interesting choice. He’s not the typical muscled-out superhero type, though certainly in-shape. He’s also an older choice, though not so old that he would be unfit for the role either. He has a different kind of energy than your prototypical Superman, one that’s difficult to describe in the same way that it’s difficult to describe how Nicholas Cage was cast as Superman. Seeing as that did actually happen, though, maybe a Justin Theroux-led older Superman story is just what the franchise needs for a clean slate.

12 Don’t Want: Adam Driver

Adam Driver’s name has been tossed around in casting among fans, but he seems like the wrong way to go. He’s doesn’t really have the look and he tends to bring a darker, melancholy energy to his roles that might not work for a Superman so young. He’s also way too recognizable for his role as Kylo Ren in the Star Wars franchise. He’s definitely talented enough to bring something interesting to the Man of Steel, but nowadays he might be a bit too high-profile for job. Then again, similar words were spoken about Nicholas Cage during the cancelled Superman Lives.

11 Good Choice: Wes Bentley

Wes Bentley is best known for his roles in American Horror Story, The Hunger Games, and American Beauty —but could he work as Superman? He definitely has an edginess that the other choices don’t. He’s also a little on the smaller side in comparison to someone like Henry Cavill. With that said, he can certainly pull off the clean-cut Superman look. He might need to bulk up a bit, but Bentley makes this list as a runner-up that most fans probably didn’t think to consider. We’re all about these obscure picks, folks.

10 Don’t Want: Jake Gyllenhaal

He’s talented, popular, and somehow not apart of any major blockbuster franchise yet. While he was cast in Spider-Man: Far From Home a few months ago, Jake Gyllenhaal’s name is still in the running for DC superheroes — namely, Batman. With that said, many fans believe that his Clark Kent could be just as compelling, but we’re not so sure. Gyllenhaal might look the part, but he has played some seriously dark roles before. Jarhead, Donnie Darko, Prisoners, Nightcrawler — the guy isn’t exactly known for embodying hope in the roles he chooses. Because of this, he’d be much better suited for a young Batman. Superman? Not so much.

9 Good Choice: Ben Barnes

Can you picture Ben Barnes sporting the cape? You probably know him from more villainous roles — he portrays Logan Delos on Westworld and Billy Russo on Marvel’s The Punisher —but with that said, the guy has a charming look that might just work for the blue boy scout. He might need to bulk up for the role and shake his reputation as a smarmy antagonist, but he already has the handsome look you’d expect from Superman. He might just need to practice a few stoic faces before putting on the suit. Barnes isn’t the stereotypical Superman, but he’s certainly a viable choice.

8 Don’t Want: Nikolai Coster-Waldau

Game of Thrones fans probably know where this is going. He’s fit, he’s talented, and like everyone else on this list he’s extremely handsome, but it will be entirely too difficult for people to separate him from Superman,and one of Westeros’ most despicable personalities. And before comments flood in about how Jamie Lannister has softened up over the years, keep in mind that he will be going from that role to Superman, one of the most heroic figures in popular culture. We don’t deny that he has the talent, but this one is a bit of a stretch.

7 Good Choice: Sebastian Stan

Could Bucky Barnes be the next Supes? Sebastian Stan hit mainstream popularity because of his role as the Winter Soldier, but he’s done plenty of great work outside the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Gossip GirlOnce Upon A Time, The Martian, I, Tonya — he’s plenty talented, he has the look, and he could provide a certain sensitivity that most of the other choices don’t usually bring to their roles. He’s a recognizable face, but not as attached to his other roles as, say, his Captain America co-star. So, Sebastian Stan for Superman? It’s just an idea.

6 Don’t Want: Michael Fassbender

Michael Fassbender is extraordinarily talented, and his name is frequently found in the running for all sorts of roles in high-profile movie franchises. With that said, he’s probably the wrong choice for Superman. He’s definitely has the proper strong features, but he’s on the older, more recognizable side. Not to mention he brings an intensity to his roles that, while captivating, doesn’t work for the last son of Krypton. If anything, casting him as Superman wastes that intensity on a character that doesn’t require it. With that said, he could play a number of other roles in the DC Universe that would better suit his edge. Braniac, Ra’s Al Ghul, Sinestro — just not Superman.

5 Good Choice: Jesse Williams

How about more of an up-and-coming choice? Jesse Williams is known for his role on Grey’s Anatomy as well as his character in the video game Detroit: Become Human, and he seems like he would be a great alternative to the A-listers that are perhaps too recognizable as Superman replacements. He has the right build, good looks, and a sweeter, sensitive side in comparison to most of the other brawny choices on this list. He would be a new face on the blockbuster movie scene, and like many of the past Supermen, this could be the role that takes his career to new levels — along with revitalizing the character for a potentially new franchise.

4 Don’t Want: Jamie Dornan

We can’t deny that he looks the part. Good hair, athletic build, strong jawline — he’s a model, after all. With that said, looks aren’t everything, and Jamie Dornan just doesn’t seem like the blue boy scout type. Perhaps his work in the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise is still too fresh in our minds, but he’s a bit intense for the iconic hero and maybe a little too… sultry? There’s no reason that Superman can’t be sultry necessarily, but those vibes just don’t work for the guy who you’d expect to save a cat from a tree. He’s in the right ballpark, but not quite Superman.

3 Good Choice: Richard Madden

Another candidate for a younger Kal-El, Richard Madden could fit the part really well. He’s a talented actor, he’s got the dashing looks (he did play the Prince in Cinderella, after all) and fans of Game of Thrones know that he can act the role of an upstanding leader any day of the week. He’s on the younger side, but those youthful looks are an edge when it comes to building a long-standing franchise. Maybe it’s hard to tell with the scruff, but he could really pull off a young Clark Kent. He just needs a shave — or he could opt for the Superman tradition and replace his facial hair with a CGI mouth. Either way, he’d be a great Superman.

2 Don’t Want: Brandon Routh

For those that don’t remember, Brandon Routh has already played Superman way back in 2006’s Superman Returns and he wasn’t bad, either! Unfortunately, it’s probably best that he didn’t return to the role. It’s not that he couldn’t swing it – he’s basically still the splitting image of a young Christopher Reeve. It’s just that DC fans already closely associate him with his work on the Arrowverse television shows. It would also confuse older audiences to see “that one guy from that one Superman movie” come back and replace Cavill’s Superman so soon, or even years from now. Unless he wants to, in which case, we doubt there would be many complaints.

1 Good Choice: Tom Welling

Let us pitch you an idea: a low-profile actor who is only famous to a certain generation, specifically for playing Superman, returns to the role on the big screen decades later?

Tom Welling could easily return for the adventures of an older Superman, perhaps at the end of his career and fathering a young Jonathan Kent, a.k.a. Superboy. It’s a bit specific, but think about it! Like Brandon Routh, he had his chance. However, Tom Welling hasn’t been a major star since his time on Smallville. He’s still got the good looks, he may be told to spend some time in the gym, of course, but it would be quite the crowd-pleasing recast.

What do you think about the Henry Cavill debacle? Are there any other actors who could play a new Superman? Leave a comment and tell us your thoughts!

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2018-09-14 06:09:35 – Jonathan Figueroa

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