The British are coming...for our superheroes!

british-superheroesImage Credit: Jon Kopaloff/ (2); Stephen Lovekin/Gety Images Record 20905790 With today’s big news that Henry Cavill has been cast as the Man of Steel in director Zack Snyder’s new Superman movie, some early internet snarking has pointed out that he’ll be fighting for Truth, Justice, and the American Way while disguising his native British accent. In fact, looking ahead, all of our big superheroes will be played by those who hail from across the pond: Andrew Garfield will play Spider-Man in Sony’s 2012 franchise reboot and Batman’s Christian Bale — who, let’s face it, can probably do a flawless American accent in his sleep at this point — was born in Wales.

Is this blasphemy, or mere coincidence? And don’t we just want whoever is best for the role? (Though, that said, can you imagine the uproar if an American was cast as James Bond? Yeow!) What do you guys think? Does it matter where the actors are really from as long as they are believable? Sound off below!

Comments (236 total) Add your comment
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  • Alicia

    If we want to get technical, technically Andrew Garfield is an American (he was born in California to an American father and a British mother, but was raised in England.).

    • Joanna

      That makes Garfield American AND English. :) My kids are the same way and are entitled to citizenship in both countries.

      Personally, as a Brit, I am proud – but honestly best man for the job no matter who.

    • Dee

      He self identifies as British, and he’s lived there since the age of 3. He’s British.

      • calistoga

        He was the second reason (after JRM) I didn’t miss one second of THE TUDORS. Fantastic face, hair and body! A voice and presence that is so HOT! Can’t think of any GOOD U.S. actors who would meet the age and physicality requirements. Maybe Efron in a few years, but he needs more height!

      • Brandon IS Superman

        if you want to get technical, Superman is NOT American, he is Kryptonian – he is the ultimate illegal alien, that said, this sucks and I wanted Brandon Routh back – he IS Superman

      • Allison

        Oh God, if they ever cast Efron as Superman my heart would be broken. I realize he has nice abs and all… maybe I’m just too old to understand.
        Henry Cavill though, I very much understand the appeal. I just hope they find him a better Lois Lane than Kate Bosworth – and make the character better this time.

      • topoopon

        But he’s been here since he was 3, so he self identifies as a Smallville, Kansas-ian.

      • MCS

        Good one, topoopon. And @Allison, I also agree that the right Lois Lane will make or break the movie

      • superaven2000

        Just don’t understand. If you liked Christopher Reeve as Superman (and most everyone did) then Brandon Routh was a perfect replacement. Unfortunate for him they just made a messy replay of Superman 1 & 2. Brandon just had to follow the weak script. He certainly should have been given an opportunity to play the big man again. I have been waiting over the past few years for a New Movie that would have Superman battling other entities from other planets, or even a little comedy with the Imp from another dimension. Remember in the comics he was a pest for Superman and the only way to get rid of him was to get him to say his name backwards. Would have been a great addition. Envolvement of the Man of Steel’s son that occurred during the last movie would have been great also.

      • Jason

        He could be our President, though, he was born here.
        They do realize this is all make believe, right? Who cares? They’re actors, playing roles. And we didn’t care when Christian Bale was cast so why do we care now? And don’t give the the “and the American Way” nonsense. Get over it people.

    • Erin

      Yeah where you’re born doesn’t necessarily negate your nationality. I hate how people get really touchy about what nationality actors are. If he considers himself a Brit he is a Brit – nuff said.

      That said, I’m all for whoever is best for the part desrves it regardless of country of origin (Captain America may be the exception). Plenty of Americans get cast in British, Australian, European productsions and vice versa.

      • Dee

        Really? What? and Who?

      • Sharlin

        @ Dee – John Barrowman who play Captain Jack in Doctor Who and Torchwood was born and raised in the United States.

      • Al

        @Sharlin – John Barrowman was born in Scotland.

      • Kate

        @Sharlin- Captain Jack Harkness is an American character.

      • Jane

        @Dee- I guess you questions don’t have an actual answer.

      • Charles

        @Erin; Name me U.S. citizens/actors being cast on British and Austrailian television?

      • MCS

        @Charles. Clearly you have never seen Australian television. If you had you would be sympathetic as to why Australian actors migrate to American television. It is awful!

      • Lisa London

        Not so sure about TV but in film there’s plenty of crossover. Gwyneth Paltrow as Emma, Renee Z as Bridget Jones, Robert Djr as Sherlock Holmes, Johnny Depp in Sweeney Todd/ Alice… Get over yourselves people, they’re actors! Who cares where they are from as long as they do a good job. Batman and Superman live in fictional cities; should there be an uproar that the actors portraying them are not from there as well?

      • Kerri

        And let us not forget the great Kevin Costner as Robin Hood. LOL

      • Diana

        @LisaLondon – All those actors and movies you are talking about were backed by major American studios. Dee was asking, what British/Aussie etc. film and television studios steadily hire new and established American actors.

      • Heather P

        @Kerri. LOL. I think there was a reason nobody mentioned him. Also, Chirstian Slater in the same movie as Will Scarlett. I don’t think either one even tried to do an accent.

      • Voodoo

        Well Dee, maybe American actors CAN get cast in UK/Australian productions, but they don’t WANT to, instead opting for a career in Hollywood were the big bucks are made.

    • Sam

      When America starts producing great 25-35 year old actors again, they can play these parts.

      • Dee

        This is true. All of our future leading men are being schooled at Disney.

      • Mischa

        Agreed. There are some very good one (Ryan Gosling, James Franco), but none of them are superhero material (Franco’s green goblin aside!).

      • Lynn

        Also, Ryan Gosling is Canadian

      • stella

        Word. When they can brag about Andrew Garfield and we have….Zac Efron…then it’s no wonder, really.

      • Rhonda

        That reminds me of Justin Bieber on Letterman the other night..he said he liked soul music and then gave examples of Usher and Boyz2Men.

    • Torok

      What about the guy that plays the president? Isn’t he from Kenya?

      • Charles

        @Torok; are you off you meds again? Why do some of you racist whites continue to bring up the President, when the subject isn’t about him?

      • pickle t1ts

        that’s funny, cause I just googled “Torok” and apparently it’s a Kenyan word meaning C U N T.

      • Chase

        @ pickle t1ts; LOL!!! Wow, you went in kid.

    • Mephysto

      using the logic that Superman is not American but an alien, so therefore it is ok to be played by a Brit, then I guess no one should complain that an American should play Doctor Who then… I vote for Johnny Depp to play that role, and not only That but I will go as far as to say that He would become the most memorable Doctor ever

      • p

        regardless of Johnny’s nationality, Doctor Who is a role on television. do you really think Johnny Depp would do a television series?!

      • Di

        I’d vote for Johnny Depp to do a season (or a movie) as the Doctor. That would be an all time classic season

      • Tammy

        That’s the worst idea I have ever heard!

      • Rhonda

        Now that I’d like to see!

    • Rockgolf

      This is only fair, since Britain’s greatest spy is played by a Canadian: Austin Powers.

      • Ames

        Check, and mate.

      • jay

        But He’s Parent are from England, so…..

    • GeeMoney

      Sienna Miller and Nicole Kidman were born here, but identify as British and Australian, respectively.

      Mischa Barton was born and raised in England for awhile, but somehow or another seems very American. Hmmm.

    • Japanese HIROSHI

      Re SUPERMAN,

      Superman, as a baby, was raised by an AMERICAN couple in a small farmhouse somewhere in AMERICA, to begin with. All his life, he’s grown up being American in a good, old-fashioned, horse-sensed AMERICAN household, living American dreams while saving people in want along the way.

      My point is – dear internet (producers) : ) – please ensure your brand-new Superman character if portrayed by a non-American actor, speak with the (beautiful) American accent.

      Relatively young myself, while I don’t wanna sound unnecessarily old-fashioned, IMO, it is ideal to portray “basically if not entirely” the character along physical features of the original actor Christopher Reeve the PERFECT SUPERMAN himself (R.I.P.).

  • Michelle

    It doesn’t matter. Do you hear the Brits complaining about RDJ as Sherlock Holmes?

    • Ana

      I wasn’t paying attention but I know they had a fit over Renee Zellweger being cast to play Bridget Jones. JK Rowling was adamant that no Americans be cast in any of the Harry Potter movies, which resulted in most of the kids’ roles being miscast, IMO.

      • A

        I think Harry Potter was brilliantly cast. If they had cast Americans, they probably would have gone with Kristen Stewart for Hermione. No thanks.

      • Dee

        I think Harry Potter was cast well, but to exclude only Americans full stop was BS. If we did that we’d be called xenophobic.

      • SH

        I think the Potter kids are great and really grew in their parts. (OK, Harry didn’t grow in height) American child actors world have been awful.

      • Liz Lemon

        Smart movie on JKR and the filmmakers parts for keeping the HP films ALL British, Scottish, Irish, etc. It kept the stories authentic and that’s why they all work so well. All the parts were brilliant cast.
        Plus, I think it’s a well known fact that the British are more talented than Americans. I can name 10 favorite UK actors/actress off the top of my head without even thinking about it. It takes me awhile to think of American ones. I mean there’s George, Brad, Matt, Angelina, Meryl, but after that….

      • Hannah

        Well of course they have to be British- Harry Potter is set in England! And I doubt they could have found an 11 year old who could master a British accent. So it was probably just easier for them to find British actors. And also the whole making of the movie, before and during filming, has always been in England/Europe, so I bet it was just more convenient for them to set casting calls in those areas.

      • Sarah

        I have only heard maybe two American actors do a decent British accent without cringing, but so many British actors are excellent at American accents. A lot of British actors actually study drama in college and do theatre and I believe this makes a big difference.

      • Dee

        @Sarah-Most American actors study drama in college and do theater too. Ever heard of Broadway, Julliard, Tisch, Strasberg just to name a few.

  • tracy bluth

    Bale has proven to be a worthy Batman, and I do like Cavill (though I was rooting for either Jon Hamm or Wes Bentley). While I’m still not a fan of the “reboot” (Gwen Stacy? Her?) I adore Andrew Garfield.
    Now, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m trying to convince someone to make a Dr (Stephen) Strange film starring Jon Hamm (can you imagine him with the gray streaks at his temples? Hot.)

    • Person

      what’s wrong with the awesome emma stone?

      • tracy bluth

        Nothing. I just wish she would’ve played Mary Jane.

      • Wha’ever

        Yeah, I agree !! i love Emma Stone better as a redhead. She was soooo Mary-Jane material, WTF went through the producers head ? (and that means she’s freaking gonna die by the way)

  • Molly

    I really don’t care if it’s an American or not. As long as the acting is good.

    • Callie

      Second that!

      • Summer

        Third that!

    • Max Zorin

      Fourth that!

    • Dave

      Brandon Routh is American. Look how that turned out.

      • A

        Brandon Routh was great for the part of Superman. It’s not his fault that the scrip wasn’t that good.

      • Emilio

        Are you sure? It was the most cartonish superman ever, including the cartoons.

      • DJ

        The fault, dear Brutus, lies not in our stars but in our writers and directors.

      • Brett

        Routh did a passable Christopher Reeve impression. I, for one, applaud the decision to cast someone new as Superman.

      • Jay

        Brandon routh was great in the role of Superman in THAT movie. The movie itself was sub-par just based on its intention (as an homage to Reeve and the original Supermans)

        Dont diss Brandon for that flick, he did a fine job

      • Heather P

        Yeah, I think the only reason he was cast was because of his resembleance to Christopher Reeve. He was a horrible superman. I’m glad they killed him off on Chuck too.

      • Alrisha6

        BR just tried to acts like Christopher Reeves not Superman. He looks so unnatural in the role, Im happy they got somebody new. And a great actor as Cahill should do a great work as Superman

  • Shannon

    I say wait and see what he does with Superman.
    People have a habit of complaining before they even see what the actor is like in the role.
    There were complaints when Renee Z was cast as Bridget Jones, Heath Ledger as the Joker, and so on.
    Look how they turned out.
    Loved Henry on ‘The Tudors’ and I can see him as Clark Kent, Superman is a little tougher to see only because I have only seen pictures of him scruffy. :)
    Question now is who is going to be his Lois Lane!?

  • Allison

    I’d rather have a good British actor playing the part of any of our superhero roles than a crappy American one. I guess this is payback for Renee Zellweger stealing the part of Bridget Jones.


    The most important thing is that they do a good job at it,Gwynneth Paltrow has played British a few times , and an older controversy used to be actors directing [ but not directers acting ? Worst 2 things are when the movie attempts too many things in the same movie as in SPIDERMAN 3 [HOBGOBLIN,TEAM-UP AND VENOM ] DARK KNIGHT [ 3 villains at least ] , revealing secret identities [ entire plot lines gone with that ] then OK 3 things — KILLING MAIN character off [ PROFESSOR X ,CYCLOPS in X-MAN 3 ] , TRINITY AND NEMO in THE final Matrix movie

  • kathryn

    I believe Andrew Garfield is an amercian – dual citizenship. he was born state side.
    all these guys are brilliant actors and will do an awesome job.
    Side note- not super heroes but, we have James Mcavoy as Prof X and Aaron Johnson as Kickass too! :-)

  • Kristy

    Renee Zellweger rocked the Bridget Jones part. Regarding the actor’s nation of origin, what does it matter as long as the actor’s good?

    • Kris

      I think it matters more to Brits than to Americans. America has such a huge entertainment industry it’s not really important if an American actor play an American superhero. However, considering the British entertainment industry is considerably smaller, they want their British icons played by Brits, which is understandable. Could you imagine the uproar if Meryl Streep played the Queen?

      • Sean C

        Meryl Streep will be playing Margaret Thatcher though.

        I really wonder how that will turn out since Thatcher is pretty much a robot emotionally.

      • greg

        Don’t forget Gwyneth Paltrow in EMMA, and SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE, and POSSESSION . . . .

        She’s practically made a career out of playing Brits!

      • p

        haha yet this is an article about the uproar that Americans are making about British actors being cast as ‘american’ superheros. kinda goes against your point.

      • Kate

        I agree that there seems to be something of a double standard when it comes to Americans taking British roles versus Brits taking American roles. I think you are not amiss in saying that it probably boils down to the size and nature of their respective film industries. Hollywood is massive, private industry and people emigrate from all over the world to be a part of it. British film is much smaller and they are perpetually having their arts funding cut by the government, it is cheaper and easier to source home grown actors. There is also a pride thing going on there. In America we are all about the box office draw- we want the best (most attractive/popular) actors and actresses so we can pull in as much money at the box office as possible (obviously we should leave indies out of this discussion). Britain is all about national pride. I have some wonderful British friends who flipped out when I suggested that the Harry Potter series (films only) was American because it is a large scale production funded by Hollywood. It is a small nation deeply rooted in tradition and xenophobia. They care more about nationality and we want the best (or at the very least, the best looking) on our screens.

      • muka

        @greg, .. Gwyneth in SLIDING DOORS with John Hannah.

  • jason

    Terrible choice for Superman.

  • dee123

    Don’t wanna pour salt onto the wound but you have Australians playing Wolverine & Thor plus a Canadian playing Green Lantern!

    • therealeverton

      Wolverine is Canadian and Thor is an Alien / diety. At best he’s either of Norse or Indo-euorpean “origin”.

      Superman thinks of himself as American but he isn’t even human.

      • Chillz

        dee123 meant the actors nationality, not the actual characters.

    • Bloke

      …so, you’re saying dee123 believes Thor should be played by a Norse god not by an Australian? I’m confused…

      • p

        the point dee123 is making is that there are other examples of superheroes who have been played by actors of a different nationality than the superheroes’ nationality.

  • Dave

    As long as they fit the role, it doesn’t matter where they are from. It’s called acting. You can act like an American even if you aren’t one.

    • Gael


    • Lisa London


  • Dee


    • Kate

      Amazing suggestion. The Brits will never let it happen but he would be- dreamy.

      • DJ

        Why not? The first Bond was an American– Barry Nelson in a 1954 tv version of Casino Royale.

  • tina

    nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!! i wanted it to be tom welling. he is perfect for superman :””(

    • Lisa London

      Been there, done that.

  • Amber

    I don’t care because I LOVE Cavill, but I think that its a fair conversation to have because we’ve seen how kindly the Brits take it when one of their “icons” is played by an American. (Although the outrage over Bridget Jones I do not get. Zellweger did a good job, and it’s not like she’s Elizabeth Bennett. Just a pretty obvious knock-off).

    • A-K87

      What outrage about Bridget Jones. Everyone shut up after they saw the trailer and how good the film was. Hathaway as Em Morley in One Day will kick off a bigger sh*tstorm because the Leeds accent is so nuanced.

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