Henry Cavill Cast as Superman

01/30/2011 at 04:20 PM EST

Henry Cavill Is Superman
Henry Cavill
Mike Marsland/WireImage
Look! Up in the sky! It's Henry Cavill as Superman!

The British Tudors star, 27, will play the Man of Steel (and his human alter ego, Clark Kent) in Zack Snyder's upcoming Superman movie, set for release in Dec. 2012.

"In the pantheon of superheroes, Superman is the most recognized and revered character of all time, and I am honored to be a part of his return to the big screen," said the 300 and Watchmen director in a statement released Sunday. "I also join Warner Bros. and the producers in saying how excited we are about the casting of Henry. He is the perfect choice to don the cape and S shield."

Like Christopher Reeve and Brandon Routh before him, Cavill is an under-the-radar leading man for whom the Superhero role represents a big Hollywood break. He'll next appear in Immortals alongside Mickey Rourke, Freida Pinto and Kellan Lutz, expected to premiere in November.

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