The Best Portrayals of Superman in Movies and TV, Ranked

Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers for Man in Black.The long-awaited DCU release black man Here on HBO Max, with the film being a direct sequel Dwayne Johnsonhas mobilized for more than a decade to see the character brought to the screen. As it turns out, Black Man isn’t the only character Johnson has rallied around, even the former DC Films president. Walter Hamada to do this. This character? Superman. Not just any Superman, but an actor and friend Henry Cavill‘s Superman, the character’s most recent iteration on film, for one last appearance as a hero before being relieved of the role by new bosses at DC Studio James Gunn and Saffron stone.

Created by the writer jerry suite and artist Joe Shuster, Superman debuted in the first issue of Action Comics in 1938, with superpowers—super strength, bulletproof skin, superhuman leaps—rooted in science. Over time, jumping turned into flying, he gained more strength and acquired an Achilles heel made of kryptonite. Likewise, Superman went from stopping bank robbers to fighting galactic gods to save his adopted home.

Its immediate success would lead to a repeated newspaper strip in 1948, a radio show, and eventually a series of films. Many actors would go on to star in film and television over the years, adding their own take on the hero. but it rarely goes astray. from the dynamic mild-mannered Clark Kent/super boy scout Superman. With the legendary hero’s short-lived return to the screen, we take a look at the various actors who have played him while we wait to hear who will be donning the tights in future DC projects. This is where they are.

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8. Kirk Alyn in Superman (1948)

Image via Columbia Photos

The first actor to play the role of Superman in a movie, Kirk Alyn he was good in his role. He was hired by Columbia Pictures Superman series about the power of his dancing skills, a presence used to leap over cameras to act, and his bland Clark Kent likeness. Because when you play a character like Superman, you want to make sure the actor can use pen and paper.

Alyn didn’t look strong as Superman, and it didn’t help that the shows had scenes of her running away from danger when a falling boulder nearly hit her. Dude is super strong and bulletproof but rolls off a rock? Alyn played the part well, but it’s her Superman face that pales in comparison to what came after her. The underarm shorts look hasn’t aged well either.

7. Dean Kane in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman

Lois and Clark described asIllegal work with superpowers,” given how much time was spent, they couldn’t/wouldn’t have made the Lois Lane and Clark Kent relationship any more than Superman doing Superman stuff. It’s not an unforgivable sin, and the show itself was fun and brilliant, but Dean CainThe representation of the hero by the hero is affected. His Clark Kent is well-rounded and confident, and you believe in the budding romance between him and Kent Teri Hatcherthis is lois lane. And Cain’s Superman doesn’t have the same development. It does not exist. Superman is such a role Kent he plays, but he doesn’t know how to play. Lois and Clark has no ambitions to be more than the rom-com cheerleader fodder he’s become, but the character of Superman is definitely second fiddle.

6. Brandon Routh in Superman Returns

Return of Superman it’s a little weird. is an extension of the Superman film series that began with superman: the moviebut then ignore everything Superman 2. In the timeline of the film, it is said to take place five years later Superman 2but it exists in an uncertain, unknown year, not 1985. Finally, Return of Superman marks the end Christopher Reeve movie series.

Wait, wait – didn’t Christopher Reeve die shortly before this movie came out? Yes. Yes, he did. So you have this quirk, the new Superman that gets cast as Superman doesn’t get cast. Instead, you are presented as you are Prefect Superman is an iconic figure that defines a fictional character, meaning that nothing you do with the character can make it your own.

Enter Brandon Routh, an actor whose screen credits at this point were minimal, but whose striking resemblance to Reeve earned him the role. And it still stands. Routh does more than look like Reeve: he captures the mannerisms, characteristics, and charm that Reeve brings to the role, and he comes very close to pulling it off. It’s a missing story that gives Routh little dialogue and a twist that doesn’t take Superman away from being a stalker. He never had a chance, which is disappointing considering how he would redeem himself and have a role in the Arrowverse’s Crisis on Infinite Earths storyline.

5. Tom Welling on Smallville

Tom WellingIt is difficult to enter such a list. He never wore a suit, to his credit no pantyhose, no flight defining mantra Smallville, and it was never named. Still, his Clark Kent gave credit to Superman’s morals and values. Smallville filled out the hero’s story and Welling nailed it. What has become ridiculous in recent seasons, as Welling’s Kent grows into a young adult, is the use of very Superman-centric storylines (fighting Doomsday).Dario Delacio) or starting the Justice League, for example) without using the Superman persona. Welling could have been higher on this list – no, he should have been – but he was dragged down by a questionable artistic decision.

4. George Reeves in The Adventures of Superman

For a certain generation, George Reeves has been Superman. He looked like Superman, filling the suit better than Alin before him. You thought he could break through walls and overcome obstacles. Reeves gave Superman a bit of an edge, giving him a subtle giant feel that you don’t want to get on the wrong side of. His Clark Kent was no child’s play either, he was a confident and intelligent character. It was no secret that Reeves hated the career limitations the show would put him through, but he knew his audience and made sure everything Superman did on screen had a positive impact on young people. Her life cut short under mysterious circumstances, Reeves would never be truly appreciated for what she gave birth to.

3. Henry Cavill in Man of Steel

from the beginning The man of steel You knew Henry CavillSuperman’s perspective would be different from the others. He was not a bright, optimistic Christopher Reeve Superman, but a gloomy, dark Superman living in a cynical world. We’re guessing Cavill’s Superman can smile, even laugh, but let’s just say we’re not mad about it. Clark Kent isn’t the clumsy corn of yesteryear, either: he’s a serious journalist with an almost goofy streak.

But damn – Cavill’s Superman is amazing on screen. His first flight is magical. Battle with General Zod (Michael Shannon) and Faora-Ul (Anthony Traue) is epic. Cavill’s portrayal benefits greatly from excellent special effects, but you’ll never doubt for a moment that he’s ready to cut Superman’s mouth no matter what. His return to the mid-credits scene black man was surprising, and while Cavill deserves a better send-off for his time in the role, his final appearance was poignant and memorable in the best possible way.

2. Tyler Hoechlin in Superman and Lois

A new competitor Tyler Hoechlin, quickly became one of the best to wear tights. He manages to balance the character’s two worlds better than most, keeping them separate but allowing elements of each to co-exist. You believe that he wants to be a good husband, a good father, and a positive force for justice in the world, and any flaws only make him more accessible, more human. His portrayal embraces both the prefect and Cavill portraying a moody hero who makes the move (and manages to smile). Hoechlin has made Superman his own, and I hope he continues to prove his high reputation here.

1. Christopher Reeve in Superman

Did you really have a question? Christopher Reeve immediately anchored in the public consciousness and remains the definitive interpretation of the character to this day. Every Superman before and after the Reeve era is always compared to his portrayal. His Superman exudes strength and confidence, his Kent the perfect alter-ego to hide in plain sight. Both on and off screen, Reeve was a role model and a beacon of hope. Everything related to Superman was realized and more importantly built by Reeve. The true definition of Superman, if ever there was one.

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