Before taking on the role of Clark Kent, also known as Superman, in the 2013 film Man of Steel, actor Henry Cavill underwent a major transformation to become DC's most iconic superhero. This was a significant point in Cavill's career, as he had previously missed out on big roles such as Superman in Superman Returns, Cedric Diggory in the Harry Potter franchise, Edward Cullen in the Twilight franchise, and James Bond in Casino Royale.
In January 2011, Cavill's casting as Superman was announced, before the release of Man of Steel in 2013. This was a huge boost for his career, both physically and professionally. Warner Bros. faced criticism for their handling of Cavill's Superman, and unfortunately, a direct sequel to Man of Steel was canceled, leading to Cavill being dropped from the role during DC Studios' reshuffle in 2022. Despite no longer portraying Superman, Cavill has maintained his muscular physique while taking on other notable roles. Cavill's transformation for the role of Superman began well before Man of Steel.
In 2011's Immortals, his muscular frame as Theseus showed a glimpse of what was to come. To prepare for Man of Steel, Cavill enlisted the help of Mark Twight, a trainer at Gym Jones, known as "the world's toughest gym." Under his guidance, Cavill added more bulk to his already muscular appearance, creating the ultimate physique for Superman. This transformation allowed him to fully embody the physically demanding roles he took on afterward, such as in Mission: Impossible - Fallout, The Witcher, and Enola Holmes.
From his initial casting to his departure from the role, Cavill's dedication to the character's physicality has left a lasting impact. As David Corenswet takes on the mantle of Clark Kent, it seems that the tradition of bulking up for the role of Superman will continue, as actors strive to embody the strength and power of DC's legendary superhero.