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Every Star Who Has Played The Man Of Steel

May 6, 20247 Mins Read

James Gunn’s first official look at David Corenswet in 2025’s “Superman” brings a new version of the Man of Steel and his iconic costume to the big screen. Hollywood has been depicting Superman in the live-action format for 76 years and counting, as the first actor to assume the superhero role onscreen was Kirk Alyn in the 1948 serial movie “Superman.”

Since then, a handful of actors have brought Superman to life at the movies and on television screens over the decades. Corenswet has a long legacy to live up to, from Christopher Reeve’s iconic turn in the 1970s to Henry Cavill’s grittier Man of Steel in Zack Snyder’s DC Universe. Back in 2019, Corenswet told Entertainment Weekly that his biggest acting goal was “definitely to play Superman.” 

“I would love to see somebody do an upbeat, throwback [take on Superman],” he said at the time. “I love the Henry Cavill dark and gritty take, but I would love to see the next one be very bright and optimistic.”

Given that Corenswet appears sullen and wearing a dirtied-up Superman suit in the first look at James Gunn’s movie, it appears his Man of Steel might still retain some grittiness. Gunn previously told Variety that his Superman actor had “to be someone who has all the humanity that Superman has but he’s also an alien. It’s gotta be somebody who has the kindness and the compassion that Superman has and be somebody who you want to give a hug.”

Check out the evolution of Superman’s costume in film and television (and the actors who wore the cape) in the list below.

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