If Henry Cavill felt a bit of deja vu yesterday morning when he got the call informing him that he was cast to play Superman, I wouldn’t be surprised. It’s not the first time that he had been tapped to play the Man of Steel.
Back in the mid-200s, director McG was attached to an attempt to bring the world’s most iconic superhero to the screen. He was working with writer J J Abrams on a screenplay and design work was underway. And the casting process was far enough along that unknown British actor Cavill had been tapped for the role. However, due to a variety of reasons (one of which was McG’s alleged fear of flying excluding him from the studio mandate that the film be shot in Australia), this version of Superman never got made and Cavill was released.
Before this version of the project fell apart, they did get as far as doing some costume tests with Cavill. Unfortunately, no pictures of those have appeared online yet, but designer Steve Johnson, who worked on both the McG attempt and the previous one lead by Tim Burton, has posted some of his concept art for how the costume might have looked on his Facebook page.
Having read Abrams draft of the screenplay for this proposed version, I have to say that Cavill dodged the proverbial speeding bullet. The story deviated vastly from the standard Superman tropes and featured among other things his homeworld of Krypton not exploding when he was an infant and the revelation that Lex Luthor is actually a Kryptonian. Much like my feelings on the American version of Godzilla from 1996, this would have been a pretty good superhero movie, it just would not have been a good Superman movie.