DC’s New Superman Must Fix Henry Cavill’s Clark Kent Mistake

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Summary

  • Henry Cavill’s portrayal of Clark Kent lacked a definitive personality that distinguishes him from Superman, making it a weak disguise.
  • Simply wearing glasses as a disguise is already flimsy, so there needs to be a more distinct difference in how Clark Kent acts from Superman.
  • David Corenswet, the next Superman actor, should take inspiration from Christopher Reeve’s portrayal, which effectively created a dynamic contrast between Clark Kent’s clumsy and timid persona and Superman’s heroic identity.


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Although Henry Cavill’s portrayal of Superman is widely loved, there was a Clark Kent issue that Superman: Legacy can correct when it releases in 2025. While Cavill didn’t get much time to establish Superman’s secret identity as Clark Kent, there was notably something missing compared to past depictions of the Daily Planet reporter. As such, there’s now an opportunity for the next Superman actor to improve upon Clark Kent for the new DCU.

Having first appeared in 2013’s Man of Steel, Henry Cavill was the DCEU’s Superman up until 2022, his final appearance being a post-credits cameo in Black Adam. However, actor David Corenswet will soon don the red cape in 2025’s Superman: Legacy, the first move in the new DC Universe envisioned by James Gunn and Peter Safran. However, this will also include a new Clark Kent which should be stronger than Cavill’s was.

Henry Cavill Never Quite Sold Clark Kent As A Disguise

Glasses Are Already A Flimsy Disguise

Henry Cavill as Superman and Clark Kent

Across the entirety of his DCEU appearances, there was hardly anything in Cavill’s performance to distinguish Clark Kent from his superhero alter-ego. While not the most egregious issue given how Superman-focused the DCEU films are, a definitive personality for Clark Kent is crucial for the character who’s trying to keep his life as the Man of Steel secret from the vast majority of the public. After all, simply wearing glasses is already a less-than-believable disguise.

What truly sells the Clark Kent persona both in the original comics and in the movies is how different Kal-El acts as Clark Kent than he does as Superman. Clark Kent is intentionally clumsy, seemingly absent-minded, and more timid. He’s practically the antithesis of what people think of when it comes to Superman with his confidence and incredible powers. This is what helps keep Kal-El anonymous when he’s not actively saving the world from dark forces. It’s not just the glasses alone, though they seem to be the only difference when it comes to Henry Cavill’s Superman and Clark Kent (that and the cape).

Related: Superman: Legacy: Release Date, Plot Details & Everything We Know

David Corenswet Must Channel Christopher Reeve’s Perfect Disguise

Superman

David Corenswet should look beyond Cavil and back to Christopher Reeve’s portrayal as both Superman and Clark Kent for inspiration. This includes Brandon Routh’s Kent in Superman Returns who portrayed the same Superman set in the same continuity. Both actors provided a Clark Kent who nervously stumbled over his words, continually bumped into people, and even slouched to appear shorter than the more imposing Man of Steel. It certainly helped create the needed difference between Kal-El’s two identities and worlds. Reeve in particular hardly looked the same in and out of the costume in his Superman movies, a strength Superman: Legacy’s Corenswet should try his best to emulate.

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