by Helen Earnshaw |
Man of Steel sees Superman return to the big screen this week for the first time in seven years.
Zack Snyder is in the director's chair for the film while we have a new actor in the central role of Clark Kent, as Henry Cavill takes on the part for the first time.
Cavill is just the latest actor to take on this iconic role... and we take a look at some of the stars who have played Superman over the years.
- George Reeves
George Reeves was the first actor to bring Superman to the big screen as he took on the role of Clark Kent in Superman and the Mole Men.
The movie was released in 1951 and was directed by Lee Sholem and was just fifty eight minutes long.
After the success of the film Reeves was offered the chance of reprising the role in TV series Adventures of Superman. Reeves was uncertain about moving into television, but it was to be a role that made him a star.
The TV series aired a year after the film and ran until 1958. Reeves died in 1959 from a gunshot wound to the head - it is still unsure whether it was suicide or murder.
- Christopher Reeve
When you think of Superman the actor who immediately springs to mind is Christopher Reeve - he was the first actor to play Superman in a film since George Reeves.
Superman hit the big screen in 1978 and it was the big breakthrough film for the actor.
Richard Donner was in the director's chair for the movie, which went on to be a mammoth hit and established Reeve as a leading man.
Throughout the eighties Reeve would go on to play Superman in three movie films Superman II, Superman III and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace.
Reeve will forever be synonymous with this role as it was the part that defined his career.
Reeve was paralysed in 1995 after a riding accident and he passed away in 2004 at the age of fifty two.
- Dean Cain
Superman returned to the small screen in 1993 as The New Adventures of Superman came to the BBC.
Dean Cain took on the role of Clark Kent in the series alongside Teri Hatcher, who played Lois Lane.
Cain had worked in television and film before The New Adventures of Superman came along but it was the project that really sent his star rocketing.
He appeared in eighty seven episodes between 1993 to 1997 as the series followed Clark Kent as he balanced his alter ego with being Superman as well as his relationship with Lois Lane.
- Tom Welling
In 2001 another Superman series came to the big screen in the form of Smallville, a series which started during Clark Kent's teenage years before moving on to his career at the Daily Planet.
The series made a star of Tom Welling as this role proved to be the major breakthrough for the actor.
It was the first time that a film/TV series had focused on the early years of Clark Kent and it brought a new point of view to this well known story.
Smallville ran for ten seasons and 218 episodes - the final season aired in 2011.
- Brandon Routh
Superman Returns hit the big screen back in 2006 and had been a movie that had been a decade in the making.
Warner Bros has spent years trying to find the actor to take on the central role with the likes of Josh Hartnett, James Marsden and Henry Cavill all possibilities.
But it was Brandon Routh who landed the role; it would be the first major leading role for the actor.
Superman Returns saw Bryan Singer in the director's chair while Kate Bosworth, Kevin Spacey and Frank Langella were all also on board.
Superman Returns followed Clark Kent as he returned to earth after a five year absence. The movie grossed over $391 million by the end of its theatrical run.
- Henry Cavill
Henry Cavill is the latest actor to take on this iconic role and it is set to be the biggest part of his career so far - he is set to see his star rocket this summer.
Man of Steel sees Zack Snyder in the director's chair while David S. Goyer has penned the screenplay and Christopher Nolan is serving as producer.
The movie will be a reboot to the well know Superman story and sees Russell Crowe, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Kevin Costner and Diane Lane all on board.
Man of Steel hasn't even hit the big screen yet and there is already talk of a sequel in the pipeline.
Man of Steel is released 14th June.