By Mandi Bierly
January 30, 2011 at 05:57 PM EST

Image Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment Henry Cavill, 27, best known for playing Charles Brandon on Showtime’s The Tudors, has been cast as Clark Kent/Superman in the new Superman movie to be directed by Zack Snyder, Warner Bros. announced today. “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,” Snyder says in the release. “I also join Warner Bros., Legendary 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.” The film is expected to hit theaters in December 2012. David S. Goyer is writing the script, based on a story by Goyer and Christopher Nolan, director of The Dark Knight and Inception, who is among the movie’s producers.

Cavill was at the top of EW’s list of contenders last October. The British actor had been in the running for 2006’s Superman Returns, which ultimately starred Brandon Routh. 

Henry Cavill shares his five favorite filming locations with EW in 2008

Henry Cavill proves he’ll look good in Clark Kent’s suits

More on the road to Superman’s casting:

The new Superman to be 28 to 32, maybe from TV, probably not Jon Hamm

The Superman movie has a director, writer, and producer. But who should be the star?

‘Superman’ director Zack Snyder on the Man of Steel: ‘He’s the king of superheroes.’

Brandon Routh as Superman again? Why not?

The new Superman: Vote for your favorite!