A Visual History of Supermans in Film and TV


Earlier today the first official photo of Henry Cavill as Superman in Zack Snyder’s highly-anticipated Man of Steel hit the internet, and our first impression is that it’s a surprisingly dark take on the classic comic book character. Could this suggest a new direction — at least visually — for a franchise that has remained fairly consistent across various film and TV adaptations over the decades? Given the fact that Christopher Nolan is involved (he both co-wrote the story that the screenplay is based on and is producing), that’s probably a safe bet. Take a quick visual survey of all of the live action Supermans — from the original, George Reeves, to the most recent man to don the cape and tights, Brandon Routh — and let us know what you think in the comments.

George Reeves in Adventures of Superman (1952-58)

David Wilson in Superman (1975)

Christopher Reeve in Superman (1978)

Christopher Reeve in Superman II (1980)

Christopher Reeve in Superman III (1983)

Christopher Reeve in Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987)

John Haymes Newton and Gerard Christopher in The Adventures of Superboy (1988-92)

Dean Cain in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1993-97)

Tom Welling in Smallville (2001-11)

Brandon Routh in Superman Returns (2007)