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Henry Cavill: The Next Superman

Actor Henry Cavil is shown in an undated photo.
This undated photo provided by Warner Bros. shows actor Henry Cavill. AP/Warner Bros.

NEW YORK (CBS/AP) British actor Henry Cavill is about to tackle an icon of American TV and film.

The 27-year-old Channel Islands native will star as Superman (and, obviously, Clark Kent) in the next installment of the movie franchise. Warner Bros. Pictures announced the casting Sunday.

The film is to be directed by "300" director Zack Snyder, who says in a statement Cavill is "the perfect choice to don the cape and 'S' shield."

No title has been announced for the film, which is intended to reboot the franchise after its latest incarnation fizzled. The 2006 movie "Superman Returns" was directed by Bryan Singer and starred Brandon Routh as the Man of Steel.

Others who have tackled the role include George Reeves, the TV Superman of the 1950s; the late Christopher Reeve, who starred in three of the superhero films; Dean Cain of TV's "Lois and Clark," and Tom Welling of "Smallville." And while Ben Affleck never played Superman, he did don the caped red and blue costume to play actor George Reeves in "Hollywoodland."

Cavill is relatively unknown. He had been considered for the blockbuster roles of Batman, James Bond and even the previous version of Superman. He co-starred on Showtime's series "The Tudors."

Warner Bros. is targeting December 2012 for the film's release.

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