According to Wikipedia, Jersey is "a British Crown dependency" on the Channel Islands, so technically that makes Henry Cavill (aka the new Superman) a Brit. Or a Jerseyan. Either way, he's certainly not an American. And hey, the same holds true for our current Batman (Christian Bale, Welshman), and our upcoming Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield, a Brit) is also not from the United States! What's going on here?! (Also this: Thor, a Norse God, will soon be played by an Australian.)
As the news about Mr. Cavill's newfound aversion to Krpytonite crept its way across the Twitter feeds, I noticed two strong reactions. One was from women and gay men, who said stuff like "Superman? More like Superyum!" and the other was from some folks who were outraged that a non-American actor would be asked to play the Man of Steel.
Of course, you couldn't have Superman without some degree of old-fashioned Americana -- that's part of the very fabric of the DC Comics legend -- but it seems a little ridiculous to offer the role to Americans exclusively. After all, the character is from Krypton, not Cleveland.
Hell, we just gave the world an American actor as Sherlock Holmes, and that worked out pretty well, didn't it? Here's why: Talent has no nationality. Robert Downey Jr. would be just as charming and amusing if he were born in Phoenix, France, or Finland. It seems a bit pedantic to even type this in the year 2011, but here goes: Straight actors play gay men; normal folks play true heroes; women sometimes even play men. And vice versa on all three!
Ask a loyal 007 fan if anyone but a true-blue, old-school Briton should ever play James Bond. He'd probably scoff and wave his umbrella at you. But my colorful colleague Shawn Levy reminds us that of all that actors who've played 007, we've had a Scot, a Welshman, an Irishman, an Aussie, and only a pair of Englishmen.
It's safe to say that we all want the best for Superman, and if DC and Warner Bros. are sold on this Cavill kid -- despite his (gasp) non-American-ness -- that's good enough for me. It goes without saying that all parties involved -- and there are dozens -- approached this particular casting with a good degree of care and specificity. (Say what you like about 'Superman Returns,' but Brandon Routh was hardly the problem in that flick.)
And if you're worried that Zack Snyder's tentatively-titled 'Superman: Man of Steel' may be woefully lacking in the American spirit that's an essential part of the Superman mystique, well, that's a concern for the director and the screenwriters, not the leading man (pictured to the right and certainly looking like a freaking superhero). Ultimately, I'm with those who believe that change is good, even when you're being careful to not tread on well-respected tradition.
Plus, we still sort of owe the British for what Kevin Costner did to Robin Hood.
But I'm just one loud guy with an opinion. You can be one too! Sound off in the poll and/or the comments section below ...
|Don't be daft, mate. A good actor is a good actor.||353 (76.4%)|
|"Truth, justice, and the American way." Period.||93 (20.1%)|
|Let's discuss this in the comments section, shall we?||16 (3.5%)|