When the new head of the DCU, James Gunn, first broke the news that Henry Cavill would not be playing Superman in the upcoming Superman: Legacy film, fans were crushed. The news ignited a firestorm of criticism against Gunn and DC with many feeling this was a ridiculous decision. At the same time, fans in their droves took to social media to lament over it and express why they still loved Cavill so much. Now with the more recent news that his replacement has been selected, nostalgia for the former Superman actor is again at an all-time high.

While it's been confirmed that David Corenswet will be playing the legendary character in upcoming films, for many, Henry Cavill is irreplaceable and will always be the quintessential Superman. While Corenswet seems to have many qualities that indicate he will make a great Superman, it's hard to imagine him being able to top Cavill in the role — nor anyone else for that matter. As we bid farewell to Cavill in the role, as a final send off, here are ten reasons why Henry Cavill was the best Superman ever.

10 He Looked Like Superman

Cavill in Man of Steel
Warner Bros. Pictures

Superhero lovers, whether the die-hard comic book fanatics or newer-age converts from the golden age of the MCU, now represent a colossal fan base. Their opinions can affect public perception and, in extreme cases, even influence the direction that some franchises take. One of the easiest ways to irritate a superhero fan is by changing the look of their beloved characters. Famous comic book characters in their classical renditions often hold great sentiment for fans since they're like beacons of nostalgia for their childhood.

One of the first things fans noted in Man of Steel was that the character's costume had moved away from bright colors. However, seeing Cavill finally don the iconic cape and the eventual costume with its darker tones provided fans with their first glimpse of a Superman they could easily get on board with. The color changes were great because of how good Cavill looked as the character. In that sense, everything from his classical good looks, facial features, and even his hair felt like a perfect personification of the character that felt like it was straight out of a Superman comic.

9 He Was Built Like Superman

Cavill vs Comic Book Version of Superman
Warner Bros. Pictures 
DC Comics

Superman's immense strength and other powers come from the radiation of Earth's son. This means, technically, the character never needed to be a buff one to be strong. Many other actors such as the equally iconic Christopher Reeve were never built like tanks, but still looked great as the character. However, over the years, some of the best comic book renditions and artwork for the character have classically portrayed him with a muscly look that visually underscored his actual strength.

While a skinnier Superman on screen was never a big issue, hardcore fans had always craved a movie version of him that looked more like the comic's buffed, sinewy one they were used to seeing. Enter Henry Cavill, who was a vision in this sense since his now legendary build and body gave the character a visually stunning look that made him look like a comic book cover every time he was on the screen.

8 Opportunities for Great Cinematography

Scene from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Warner Bros. Pictures

One of the best reasons to have a Superman that looked so visually pleasing and true to the comic book versions was the opportunities this gave filmmakers for some fantastic cinematography. No one personified this fact better than Zack Snyder when he directed Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Snyder was already well known for his visionary cinematography in films like 300, and with Batman v Superman, he brought these skills to bear in a stunning way. While the final film may have divided fans, one thing that cannot be doubted was how visually spectacular it was.

With the contrast of rich color for Superman scenes and darker hues for Batman's, beautiful slow motion shots, and some epic rendering, the film was replete with a myriad of unbelievably gorgeous shots of Cavill's Superman, and other characters like Wonder Woman and Doomsday too. Who can ever forget the now iconic montage scene that included Superman depicted as a messianic figure with people clamoring just to touch him, like he's a God; or him floating down, seemingly like an angel out of the heavens to save a family clinging to a rooftop during a flood. None of these, and other amazing shots in the film, would have looked half as spectacular if Henry Cavill didn't look as amazing as he did as Superman.

7 His Acting Skills

Cavill in Man of Steel
Warner Bros. Pictures

Before Man of Steel cemented him as a superstar, Henry Cavill was already quietly building a great reputation as an actor with roles in shows like The Tudors and films like Immortals. A British actor, he often proves just how chameleonic he can be since he often plays American characters and seamlessly pulls them off without the slightest hint of his true heritage poking through.

Related: 8 Major Roles Henry Cavill Turned Down or Didn’t Get

While he may not yet have won any major awards apart from an MTV Movie Award for Best Hero in Man of Steel, his popularity as an actor proves just how good he's been in whatever project he joins. In some ways, he's also one of the unluckiest actors around, a fact his fans regularly lament on his behalf. He's the king of almost getting big parts since he was almost cast as iconic characters like James Bond, Cedric Diggory from Harry Potter, and Edward Cullen in Twilight. Nevertheless, he did eventually land the role of Superman and has more than earned his popularity since.

6 His Personality

Cavill in Justice League
Warner Bros. Pictures

Henry Cavill is now iconic for his looks. He's been voted 2013's "World's Sexiest Man" by British Glamour, and that same year placed third on Empire's list of "The 100 Sexiest Movie Stars." However, what has truly enamored him to his army of fans most is his personality and public image.

In that sense, Cavill usually cuts a stoic and kind figure, someone who never takes him too seriously no matter how awesome he is, and who's been relatively scandal-free as an actor. These traits have all made him more likable as Superman since he often injects these and other great traits into the character.

5 Cavill as Clark Kent

Cavill as Clark Kent in Man of Steel
Warner Bros. Pictures

Anyone who knows Superman well knows that playing him as the hero who flies around saving people is only half the job. Superman's alter ego is of course the geeky but lovable person he is as Clark Kent. The duality of personalities that completes the entire character requires nuance since Clark is deliberately the opposite of Superman. While Superman is confident, exudes strength, and is charming, Clark Kent is nerdy, unsure of himself, and much softer as a person.

In this sense, playing the role of Superman essentially requires playing two roles in one. As great as Henry Cavill has been as Superman, he's been just as convincing and authentic as Clark Kent. While his Clark is a little darker and more authoritative (he has a verbal tit-for-tat with Bruce Wayne at an event), Cavill's wholesome and down to Earth scenes as Kent, and especially those with his parents and Lois Lane, were always great too.

4 The Heart He Brings to the Role

Cavill and Adams in Batman v Superman
Warner Bros. Pictures

One of the less obvious roles beyond his looks and build as Superman is the way that Henry Cavill was always able to effortlessly imbue the character with so much heart. His touching scenes, like bringing flowers home for Lois, jumping into the tub with her, or as he stares into her face and softly tells her, "This is my world. You are my world," as he leaves to fight Doomsday in Dawn of Justice were all perfect examples of the sweet and affectionate side that Cavill imbued Superman with.

In each one, he seemed to always have a deeper respect for the fact that the character was more than strength and powers, and that ardent fans also love him for the person he is and what he actually represents — an alien who ironically embodies the best of humanity.

3 The Depth He Gave the Role

Cavill in emotional Man of Steel scene
Warner Bros. Pictures

As stated before, Superman isn't just a role that relies on strength and looks. Whether pulling off the duality of Superman and Clark Kent or giving the character heart, these are all indications that the character has a lot more depth than just being a superhero. As an icon of the superhero world, Superman is a symbol and means the world to so many people in it, whether in the fictional world he exists in or in the real one.

Whether it was his love for Lois, accepting his father's decision to not save him, the anger he showed when he realized Lex Luthor had kidnapped his mother, the hostility he showed to Batman, or the anguish he experienced at being forced to kill General Zod, these were all perfect examples of what a multi-layered character Superman is. For his part, Henry Cavill always executed these scenes perfectly, injecting them with just the right emotional range each time.

2 His Dark Superman

Dark Superman Poster - Justice League
Warner Bros. Pictures

The new Superman, David Corenswet, once famously spoke to EW about wanting to play the character. He also mentioned that he wanted to move away from Cavill's darker portrayal of him and bring the character back to being a bright one.

"I would love to see somebody do a really upbeat throwback. I love the Henry Cavill dark and gritty take. I would love to see the next one be very bright and optimistic."

With due respect to Corenswet, most hardcore Superman fans will agree that the darker side of Superman was a refreshing one to see since it's also been one of the most infamous and enthralling sides of his comic book heritage. Superman's open hostility toward Batman, his killing of Zod, and his rage at Lex Luthor's diabolical schemes all made far more sense when fans were treated to Zack Snyder'sJustice League.

Related: Best Henry Cavill Performances, Ranked

We saw glimpses of the darker Superman when he was resurrected against his will and single-handedly took out the entire team. This small snippet of dark Superman was a tantalizing teaser when the end of the Snyder Cut revealed where it was all headed. The Joker's scene at the end and the blatant hints that Snyder's original DCU was meant to culminate in the hugely popular Injustice storyline where the Joker kills Lois Lane and causes Superman to go crazy and become the villain sent fans into rapture. Whether we will ever get to see this infamous and brilliant plot play out is now in doubt, but Henry Cavill gave us insights into how amazing it would have been and how great he would have been as a dark Superman.

1 He Loves the Character

Superman Poster from Batman v Superman
Warner Bros. Pictures

Henry Cavill is an avid gamer, famously missing the call from Zack Snyder confirming he got the role because he was too busy gaming. However, it's this part of him that often enamors him most to fans since this lets them know, he gets it! Superman is a historical character and comes with an enormous legacy that means a lot to many people around the world. Henry Cavill has always spoken in terms that let us know he loves the character too and therefore respects what it means to fans.

This fact was always evident by the way he injected palpable passion and heart into his roles as Superman. He's always made it clear that he's a fan himself and that he wanted to keep playing the character. Unfortunately for Cavill and his fans, we've had to sadly say goodbye to him in the role that he truly made his own in modern portrayals. While we will also always love and remember how legendary Christopher Reeve was in the role too, Cavill has brought a modernity and exceptional nuance to the role that means David Corenswet has massive shoes to fill. While we wish Corenswet all the best in the role and look forward to what he will bring to it, it's also with a heavy heart that fans say farewell to Henry Cavill's Superman and thank him for the memories.