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Henry Cavill at 40: A Look Back at His Best Roles and Future Projects

What lies ahead for Henry Cavill in his career? We put the future of one of Hollywood's most exciting young actors into perspective.

Henry Cavill at 40: A Look Back at His Best Roles and Future Projects
Álvaro Arbonés

Álvaro Arbonés

Time passes for everyone, even for Superman, Geralt of Rivia and Henry Cavill. So, because Henry Cavill is now in his forties, it’s a good time to take a look back at his career, but above all to remember that forty is not remotely the end of anyone’s life or career. On the contrary, it is usually the peak of most people’s careers. That’s why we’re not only going to talk about Cavill’s past, but, above all, look to the future and see what challenges lie ahead for this actor, whose fame has come to him not only for being handsome and having known how to choose his roles very well, but also for being an obsessive of all things geeky.

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Born on May 5, 1983 in the Crown Dependency of Jersey, an island in the Channel Islands, his film career began in two now virtually forgotten films, Laguna and Kevin Reynolds’ adaptation of The Count of Monte Cristo in 2001 and 2002. Although he later had minor roles in films like Hellraiser: Hellworld or Starudst, in addition to starring in the underrated horror thriller Blood Creek, by Joel Schumacher, in 2009, his leap to fame would happen when between 2007 and 2010 he played a much more attractive than the historical version of Charles Brandon,1st Duke of Suffolk in the series The Tudors. A role that earned him recognition in America, if not the whole world, and which opened the doors to the project that would make him a star: being Superman in Man of Steel in 2013.

From then on his projects accumulated. He appeared in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. in Mission: Impossible – Fallout, he played Sherlock Holmes in Enola Holmes, and thanks to Netflix he has been able to fulfill his dream and play one of his favorite fictional characters, Geralt of Rivia, even correcting aspects of lore poorly translated to the screen. But after that, what awaits him in his future?

What we do know is that, in the short term, he seems to have taken a liking for spy fiction, especially for starring in it. Later this year, but with no date set, he should release Argylle, the new film by Matthew Vaughn, director of Stardust, Kingsman and Kick-Ass, which adapts the first novel, as yet unpublished, by Elly Conway. In this film Cavill would play a world-class spy with amnesia who is led to believe he is a successful novelist who writes stories about spies; at least until he remembers the truth and throws himself into a spiral of revenge against the organization he used to work for, The Division. Similarly, in 2024, he will release The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare, a film directed by Guy Ritchie, director of Snatch: Pigs and Diamonds and RocknRolla, where he will play a spy part of an organization founded by Winston Churchill and Ian Fleming that would use dirty tactics to fight the Nazis, being the origin of the current black ops.

So much for his secured job, which is coming relatively soon and something totally unexpected would have to happen for us not to get to see it. Of course, that’s not the only thing on the horizon for Cavill. In film and television, we work at least three or four years ahead, even when we the audience know nothing about it. That’s why we can also talk about the next projects he has in the pipeline right now, even if some are still rumors to be confirmed, and even those in pre-production we still can’t say for sure that they will come to fruition.

His next confirmed project, still without a date, is the adaptation of the novel The Rosie Project, directed by newcomer Steve Falk. In this romantic comedy, we follow Don Tillman, an Australian genetics professor who spends his life trying to minimize the inefficiency of all aspects of his life, seeking to be happy. Because of that he doesn’t fit in well with others, until he meets Rosie, a waitress who, even though Don immediately thinks she doesn’t fit in with him at all, he can’t help but think about her constantly. A role where Cavill can demonstrate his gallant gifts, having to carry the weight of a character with certain subtleties and contradictions, which can be a real challenge, especially if the script is up to the original story.

Finally, his other major future project is still up in the air, as it is not yet known when it will be made, if ever. Because Chad Stahelski, director of the John Wick saga, has reportedly wanted to direct a remake or reboot of The Immortals, Russell Mulcahy’s mythical 1986 film, with Henry Cavill in a role yet to be specified. But, again, it’s still up in the air, as Stahelski has five other projects in pre-production and another five in development, not counting possible new John Wick installments, so nothing can be considered confirmed yet in this regard.

In any case, it is clear that Henry Cavill’s career has only just begun. At forty years old, he has already been three important characters in pop culture, but he can still prove much more as an actor. And it looks like he’s ready to do just that. Where he’ll end up is something only time will tell, but what we do know for sure is that he’s a superb actor to keep an eye on. Because if his career has shown us anything so far, it’s that Cavill may well be much more than we imagined.

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Álvaro Arbonés

Álvaro Arbonés

Cultural journalist and writer with a special interest in audiovisuals and everything that can be played. I'm not here to talk about my books, but you can always ask me about them if you're curious.

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