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This article was first published 11 years ago

Your favourite Superman of ALL TIME? VOTE!

Last updated on: June 13, 2013 10:59 IST

Image: Henry Cavill as Superman in Man Of Steel
Raja Sen in Mumbai
They aren't birds and they aren't planes.

There is only one Superman, though several actors have played him rather memorably over the years.

And with Zack Snyder's Man of Steel in which British actor Henry Cavill takes over superhero duties, it's official, the British have invaded the superhero scene.

Spider-Man's a Brit, Batman's a Brit, and now the most American icon of them all is being played by a British actor.

Cavill, best known for playing the Duke Of Suffolk in the Tudors TV series, Cavill was also seen in Tarsem Singh's big-budget turkey The Immortals earlier this year opposite Frieda Pinto. Before that, he appeared very briefly in Woody Allen's Whatever Works.

With Man Of Steel, it remains to be seen whether the sunniest hero of them all can make the transition into the moody, angsty, dark hero stereotype so popular with moviegoers nowadays.

The trailer had created a lot of buzz and it'll be good to see that red and yellow cape soaring through the air again.

As we revisit the previous Supermans we've seen onscreen, vote for YOUR favourite at the end of this slideshow!

Brandon Routh

Image: Brandon Routh in Superman Returns
When Bryan Singer took over the Superman franchise, he wanted to create a film that would fit seamlessly into the older films: thus making Superman Returns, more a tribute than a step forward.

He needed a lead actor who looked like Reeve, and Routh -- who was signed on by his canny manager because of that very resemblance -- fit the bill.

Superman Returns was a reasonable financial success but the lukewarm critical reaction made sure there would not be a sequel with the same team.

Routh has since appeared in other films -- most notably with a great part in Scott Pilgrim Versus The World -- but his highest profile release since Superman? Kambakkht Ishq.

Yes, really. Talk about a Superman curse.

Tom Welling

Image: Tom Welling in Smallville
While the Superman film franchise went through various stages of development hell -- with negotiations and contract disputes and much brouhaha over casting -- there was a time it looked like Tim Burton would be directing a Superman film with Nicolas Cage in the lead role.

Fascinating as it sounds, that, like the others, fell through.

What DC Comics managed to do, however, was get a smash hit TV show going, one exploring the early life of Clark Kent.

Tom Welling, who won the part after a nationwide search, looked right for the role, clean-cut and squeaky clean, and was as likeable as the character required.

The show ran for ten years, losing momentum in its last couple of seasons, and Welling hasn't really been seen in anything of note outside the series.

Christopher Reeve

Image: Christopher Reeve as Superman
Reeve is to Superman what Sean Connery is to James Bond: iconically recognisable as the face of the character.

The tall, blue-eyed New Yorker stepped into Superman's scarlet boots at the age of 26, for Richard Donner's first Superman film.

The film was a major sensation with people eagerly buying into the film's tagline, "You will believe a man can fly."

Reeve went on to do three more Superman films, wrapping up his big-screen association with the character with 1987's Superman IV: The Quest For Peace.

In 1995, Reeve fell off the horse he was riding and was paralysed from the neck down. A well-regarded actor of significant depth, the injury cut short his acting career -- though he did guest star in Smallville, the TV series based on young Clark Kent -- and Reeve became a crucial and pioneering activist about spinal cord injury and disabilities in general.

He remained a respected activist till his death in 2004.

Also read: A tribute to Christopher Reeve

George Reeves

Image: George Reeves as Superman
The first actor to consistently play Superman, George Reeves first took on the role in 1951, when he was 37 and the character was 23.

A film actor, Reeves wasn't too keen on doing a television project, but Superman's immense popularity made him a celebrity beyond his wildest expectations.

He became a role model to kids -- a fact that led to his quitting smoking -- and so strongly did he get associated with the part that it was difficult for him to find other roles.

Reeves died mysteriously from a gunshot in 1959, at the age of 45.

The official word of suicide has been strongly disputed by many claiming dark conspiracies, including murder.

In 2006, Ben Affleck made a film called Hollywoodland about the investigation into Reeves' death, where Affleck played the Superman star.


So what are you waiting for? Vote now!

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