Here's Why the First Superman Suit Henry Cavill Wore Was Christopher Reeve's

Here's Why the First Superman Suit Henry Cavill Wore Was Christopher Reeve's

May 30, 2013

Anyone who knows anything about Superman knows that it's all about the suit. When it was revealed that Zack Snyder's Man of Steel had removed the red underwear from the Superman costume, fans freaked out. Over time, though, we've become more accustomed to the new suit, worn by Henry Cavill in the film, as it more easily lends itself to the real-world tone we're expecting to find in the movie, due out June 14. However, it took a long time to find the right Superman suit for the film, as we learned when we visited the set back in 2011.

One of the more interesting little nuggets we learned was that the first suit Henry Cavill tried on was a version of Christopher Reeve's suit from the original Superman movies. And according to Zack Snyder, it was quite the vision to behold. "I have seen every possible version of that suit. Versions with underwear, versions without underwear, but I’ll say that we had versions without the red,  without a cape, with a cape, everything you can imagine," Snyder said. "It’s gotta be Superman instantly. When we tested Henry, we didn’t have a costume, so we put him in the Christopher Reeve costume just because Warner Bros. owns it. So I was like, 'Oh, just put him in that. It’s fine. We’ll know whether it’ll work, right?' Of course then Warner Bros. said, 'You’re not allowed to use our costume because it’s a collector's item. It’s worth millions of dollars.' I was like, 'It’s okay. Fair enough.' So we made one based on it."

Here's a fan edited version [via Superhero Hype] of what Cavill would look like in a more traditional Superman suit, similar to that of the one Christopher Reeve wore. (click to enlarge). 
It wasn't until Cavill put on Reeve's suit that everyone realized how goofy and retro it was. "He put it on and the point is that it’s iconographic," Snyder notes. "Nobody laughed even though it was ridiculously goofy when you actually looked at it. The Christopher Reeves costume, like, the shoes are made out of tape. It’s a disaster, right? So, ours was okay. It was the whole thing and it’s spandex and it’s really not cool."
According to Cavill, it took roughly 20-25 minutes to put the new version of the Superman suit on. "Yeah—naturally, screen testing for this was memorable," Cavill joked. "But not in the sense that a lot of people seemed to assume, which is, 'What was it like putting the suit on and being Superman and being there and being shot as Superman?' It was more of a nerve-wracking, am I doing it right? Am I going to get the role? How do I look? Is it okay? I haven’t prepared—I haven’t had a chance to prepare nearly enough for this—yeah, all of the above. So, it was definitely a nerve-wracking experience. As soon as it had finished, as I always do after you finish a screen test, I just forgot about it. Because in case I didn’t get the role, you don’t want to be disappointed because if you do that in every role you get then you’ll end up throwing yourself off a building."
Stay tuned for more from the set of Man of Steel leading up to its release on June 14.

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