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First look at new Superman in 'Man of Steel'

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Henry Cavill as Superman. Photo / Warner Bros
Henry Cavill as Superman. Photo / Warner Bros

A new Superman is born: It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's your first look at Henry Cavill as Superman in the upcoming Zack Snyder-directed Man of Steel.

Warner Bros. released the first promo image of British actor Cavill as the iconic superhero today, offering fans a taste of what Snyder has in store for the long-awaited franchise reboot.

Based on the promo pic, Snyder's opted for a retro-flavoured, slightly streamlined and souped-up take on the muscly superhero.

The suit's muted colouring is reminiscent of Andrew Garfield's Spider-Man clobber in the upcoming The Amazing Spider-Man, while its armour-like texture is a far cry from the flat spandex look donned by Christopher Reeve and Brandon Routh in previous outings.

Cavill still has the boots, flowing crimson cape and signature "S" emblazoned across his chest. But noticeably absent is the Superman curl, and it remains to be seen whether the big blue boy scout's iconic uniform includes the classic red underwear.

And it's not just the iconic suit that's been given a makeover. Cavill's also been hitting the gym to pump himself up to Man of Steel proportions.

Cavill, 28, formerly of The Tudors fame, recently spoke with Total Film Magazine about priming himself up for the role, which includes chomping on 5,000 calories a day.

"I'm on 5000 calories a day... You've got to eat protein first, then a little bit of carbs...you've gotta keep your hunger levels going," he told the magazine. "I'm training two and a half hours a day, pushing my body beyond its normal limits, putting on a lot of muscle mass and just making myself look like Superman."

Of donning the superhero threads, he said: "It's extremely cool. There's no other feeling like it.

"They just put it on, I turned around and look in the mirror and you can't really play it cool - you sort of guffaw and laugh. I thought 'OK, holy hell, this is real, it's not a joke anymore. This is it...you're doing it, you're right in the middle of it.'"

While he remained tight-lipped on plot details, Cavill revealed that he will be "as true as I can be to the original character and who the character is," he said.

"I'm very proud to be British and playing an iconic American superhero...it means I'm doing something right somewhere."

The big costume reveal comes hot on the heels of news that former CSI star Laurence Fishburne has been cast as Daily Planet editor in chief Perry White.

Fishburne joins Amy Adams as Lois Lane, with Diane Lane and Kevin Costner as Superman's adoptive parents, Martha and Jonathan Kent. Superman's Kryptonian parents Jor-El and Lara Lor-Van will be played by Russell Crowe and Julia Ormond.

Boardwalk Empire star Michael Shannon has been cast as bad guy General Zod, while his partner in crime, Faora, will be played by Antje Traue.

Man of Steel is slated for a June 14, 2013 release.

What do you think of your first look at Cavill as the Man of Steel? Do you think he can cut it as Supes?

And while you ponder over that lot, spare a thought for what could have been: Nicolas Cage's now infamous Superman that never was. Oh, my hero!

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