Superman was one of the earliest depictions of a superhero. After his introduction, capes, tights, superpowers, a quest for justice, and holy levels of righteousness became the norm. Superman has been around since 1938, appearing in comics, video games, movies, graphic novels, cartoons, and just about anything else that could possibly feature the Man of Steel.
Because he's been a part of popular culture for so long, there are probably a lot of things many fans don't know about Superman. This list highlights some of the more interesting things you probably didn't know about the Kryptonian.
Christopher Reeve Refused To Wear 'Fake Muscles' In 'Superman: The Movie'
When Christopher Reeve was selected to play Superman in the first feature-length live-action film starring the Man of Steel, he had only 35 days to prepare for the role. The producers wanted him to wear fake muscles underneath his shirt, but he refused. Instead, he began a two-month training regimen to beef himself up. By the end of his training period, he had gained more than 30 pounds.
He got so big, the production had to redo earlier scenes already filmed because Reeve's body no longer matched the later scenes.Cool new fact?
Kryptonite Was Introduced To Make Room For A Vacation
You can't have Superman existing in a world without the threat of Kryptonite, right? Well, no. Superman originally didn't have any real weaknesses, and Kryptonite was introduced so that Bud Collyer, the actor who played him on the Adventures of Superman radio show, could take a vacation.
For an entire week, Superman's voice was relegated to a series of grunts and groans, which were spoken by another actor. The explanation: Kryptonite! The dangerous green rock was introduced to make Collyer's vacation possible without stopping the show, and it remains the biggest weakness of the Man of Steel's physiology. It took another six years, though, before Kryptonite showed up in the comic books, in Superman #61 - and it was red, not green.Cool new fact?
Henry Cavill Missed The Call To Play Superman Because He Was Playing 'WoW'Video: YouTube
Man of Steel actor Henry Cavill is a nerd, through and through. A video game enthusiast, he was playing one when the call came to offer him the role of Superman.
Cavill told Conan O'Brien when he appeared on the show to promote the film, "I was playing World of Warcraft, and I had my priorities straight."Cool new fact?
Superman Flies Thanks To Animators
Superman couldn't fly from the beginning, but he could jump really high. That's why he was said to be able to "leap tall buildings in a single bound." If he could fly, he would have just flown high above those buildings without any problem. Eventually, he was given the gift of flight in the cartoons, then the radio show, and finally in the comics.
When he couldn't fly, he could leap about 1/8 of a mile, or 660 feet. Giving him the ability to fly made moving the character from one place to another much easier on the animators, and that same practice eventually proved true in the comics, but not until 1941. In 2015, he lost the power in Superman #40, and all he could do was jump really high, so it might have seemed like a strange change for the character, but in reality, it was a return to the basics established many years earlier.Cool new fact?