Why Henry Cavill is the internet’s favourite actor
Henry Cavill is currently the internet’s favorite actor
Movie fans want him to play every role, from James Bond and Wolverine to Aegon the Conqueror
His recent dismissal as Superman caused a huge outcry from fans
But how did Henry Cavill become so beloved? Allow us to explain
39-year-old Henry Cavill is the square Brit with a huge fanbase online.
Despite landing roles in everything from Man of Steel to Mission: Impossible – Fallout, it’s Cavill’s geekier side that has warmed the hearts of fandom.
Read more: Actors who could be the next James Bond
Proving that even a Hollywood heartthrob isn’t reluctant to sit down to paint his Warhammer figures, Cavill represents the more human side of the theatrical elite.
It’s hard to believe that a fresh-faced Henry Cavill got his start in a single episode of Midsomer Murders and the 2002 adaptation of Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo.
For most, it’s not playing Mike in 2005’s Hellraiser: Hellword that they remember Cavill’s early days for, but as the flamboyant Charles Brandon in The Tudors, or as the floppy-haired Humphrey in Stardust.
Matthew Vaughn’s all-star ensemble saw Cavill brush shoulders with A-listers Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer, with top billing going to a pre-Daredevil Charlie Cox.
From here there was no stopping Cavill, and in 2013 he helped launch the DC Extended Universe in Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel.
It’s a bird… it’s a plane… no… it’s Henry Cavill
Warner Bros. struggled for a few years to get a Superman movie right, but after Christopher Nolan delivered a grittier version of DC Comics with Batman Begins and then The Dark Knight, he turned to Superman next. Working with director Zack Snyder, Nolan produced 2013’s Man of Steel starring Cavill as Clark Kent, and the dark and brooding Snyderverse was born.
Read more: Henry Cavill responds to gossip about his private life
To this day, Man of Steel is considered one of the DCEU’s best and – until recently – it looked like a sequel was on the way.
Cavill then had his first foray into spy movies as Napoleon Solo in Guy Ritchie’s underrated The Man From UNCLE movie, but returned to the DCEU for the divisive Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in 2016.
Despite its criticism and mediocre box office sales, the DCEU pushed forward with the now infamous Justice League. Even though Superman ‘died’ in Batman v Superman, fans were sure we’d see him again, which led to his own problems thanks to Cavill landing a role in another major franchise.
Give us lip
Cavill became embroiled in the famous mustache-gate of Mission: Impossible – Fallout when Paramount refused to let the star shave his upper lip.
Read more: Cavill thinks Fallout role could help him get Bond
Joss Whedon took over from Zack Snyder to complete Justice League, which led to reshoots that Cavill required. He was busy playing the villainous – and mustachioed – August Walker in Mission: Impossible, so WB had to awkwardly edit out Cavill’s upper lip with CGI. To be honest, that was the least of the movie’s problems.
A critical and commercial slide from Justice League (which lost an estimated $60 million) meant that the DCEU began to crumble. Movies like Aquaman and a second Wonder Woman continued, as well as a change towards ‘lighter’ movies, including Shazam! and Birds of Prey. Don’t feel too sorry for Cavill, though, because he still had plenty to keep him busy.
Incantation on The Witcherverse
Besides wearing his underpants outside his pants as Superman, Cavill got his wish to play Geralt of Rivia in Netflix’s The Witcher series. Along with Mass Effect and Warhammer, Cavill was a self-confessed superfan of CD Projekt Red’s The Witcher games and Andrzej Sapkowski’s original source material.
Co-star Freya Allan told Fortress of Solitude that Cavill was “like a Witcher bible on set. We’ll do a scene and he’ll be like ‘I think we should use this line from page 253 of Blood of Elves.’
Even though Cavill is back for the upcoming season three, it will be his last as Geralt before The Hunger Games’ Liam Hemsworth takes over.
Despite Cavill posting an emotional farewell on Instagram, that didn’t stop the rumor mill from swirling that he previously wanted to leave after season two. Timing has not been kind to The Witcher, especially after former producer Beau De Mayo claimed that the writers actively mocked the source material.
Is Superman Returning?
Although the surprise was ruined ahead of time, Cavill’s shock return as Superman at the end of Black Adam set him up neatly for a sequel, a mythical sequel to The Suicide Squad, and certainly the much-discussed Man of Steel 2. Unfortunately , it looks like the Metropolis Marvel is hanging up its spandex again — well, at least with the DCEU.
Read more: Matthew Vaughn’s plan for Man of Steel 2
When former MCU beau James Gunn was announced as co-head of DC Studios, there were cuts across the board. Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman 3 was the first to go, and while it’s unclear if Gal Gadot is also gone as Wonder Woman, Cavill confirmed via Instagram that he’s no longer attached to the role of Superman.
Gunn announced that Warner Bros. moving forward with a young Superman movie instead of Man of Steel 2 , and while some took his mention of “exciting possibilities to work together in the future” to mean that Cavill could return, the star’s post put a nail in that coffin. It’s a bitter pill to swallow, especially because of assumptions that Cavill left The Witcher for Superman.
For those hoping that the loss of Superman might encourage Cavill to return to The Witcher, Netflix told CNN there will be “no changes to Season 4 of The Witcher.” However, it probably opened the door to more opportunities.
Shaken but not stirred
It’s easy to forget Cavill wasn’t always that guy playing Superman or Geralt, with other roles including the Enola Holmes movies and the upcoming Highlander reboot. Away from yet another return to the spy genre for Vaughn’s Argylle, Cavill’s name comes up repeatedly as the next James Bond.
If Vaughn told Collider that Cavill was “born to play Bond” wasn’t enough, the man himself told The Hollywood Reporter that “nothing is off the table.” Cavill’s free diary means betting site William Hill has slashed the odds of him taking over from Daniel Craig.
He’s currently paired with Kick-Ass’s Aaron Taylor-Johnson, meaning the pair have moved ahead of front-runner Tom Hardy. If Cavill was the next 007, things would have gone out of whack as he lost to Craig when he aired 2006’s Casino Royale.
If swilling martinis isn’t his thing, Cavill just confirmed he’s working on a live-action Warhammer 40,000 adaptation. More than just a one-off movie or TV series, Cavill’s Instagram post claims he “has the skills and experience to bring a Warhammer Cinematic Universe to life.”
Read more: Cavill wows in 1970s Superman costume
Speaking of cinematic universes, Cavill’s said it would be “a lot of fun” to play Captain Britain in the MCU during his THR interview. A quick scan of the internet will turn up plenty of artwork that shows he would look great as Brian Braddock, and it could be a case of DC’s loss is Marvel’s gain.
From Nerd To Superstar
Away from Cavill’s acting chops, part of what makes him one of Hollywood’s most endearing is that he’s never afraid to let his geek flag fly. We should have seen Cavill’s Warhammer Cinematic Universe coming because it’s a game that has come up time and time again in interviews.
You don’t get more wholesome than Cavill discussing all things Warhammer on The Graham Norton Show, and the charming exchange where Tom Holland asked if he could come over and play. For everyone who thought it was just a front, how about when Cavill made a niche reference to a “Blackstone Fortress” that even went over the head of interviewer Josh Horowitz?
Read more: Cavill’s Warhammer Cinematic Universe Explained
When people find out that a celeb is a gamer, there’s the default question of PlayStation or Xbox, but unlike most, Cavill has confirmed that he’s a PC gamer who also likes Blizzard’s Overwatch. Speaking of which, how many of you can say you’ve sustained a career as a megastar and built a computer? In 2020, Cavill set pulses racing when he shared an Instagram video of him seductively building his own gaming PC.
He’s nothing if not thorough, and before he even stepped into the Superman suit, he waxed lyrical about his love for comics like Superman: Red Son to Gizmodo. Cavill’s geekiness is so well-known, Total War: Warhammer 2’s The Warden and the Paunch DLC even has a character modeled after him.
Whether it’s celebrating International Women’s Day with his dog, Kal, just saying nice things about Enola Holmes’ Millie Bobby Brown, or taking time out of his day to promote the solo movies of his DCEU co-stars — pulling off a quick Aquaman cosplay to support Jason Momoa — Henry Cavill is a star you can’t help but love.
While he’s had a rocky ride this past month, we’re sure he’ll be moving on to bigger and brighter things in 2023.
Watch: Henry Cavill Confirms Superman’s Exit