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Henry Cavill: Can Brit end 'Curse of Superman'?

As Superman reboot Man Of Steel is released, its British star Henry Cavill might pay heed to a Hollywood superstition. In a world saturated by superheroes movies, Superman may well be the most the most iconic comic book character of them all - an all-American do-gooder with dashing good looks and superhuman strength who makes up one half of the most memorable romantic couples in the history of pop culture. The character's outing in the original 1978 Richard Donner film gave birth to the idea of a lucrative superhero franchise, changing the face of cinema in the process and netting Warner Bros its highest ever box office takings at the time. It spawned sequels (albeit with diminishing returns), created millions of dollars’ worth of marketing tie-ins and merchandise, while the man from Krypton became further ingrained in the public consciousness thanks to the 1990s TV show Lois and Clark, starring Teri Hatcher. So by all accounts, playing the man in the red cape should be one of the most coveted roles in Hollywood. But while the Man of Steel may be the idol of comic book fans and moviegoers across the world, the character has such a chequered history on the big screen that it's created a Hollywood myth known as "the curse of Superman". The notion of a curse began in black and white with George Reeves, who played the hero in the 50s series the Adventures of Superman. He died from a gunshot wound in 1959 in mysterious and often disputed circumstances which resulted in numerous conspiracy theories and launched the myth. It's insensitive at best, crude at worst to associate such a superstition with the tragic story of Christopher Reeve. The star who played Superman in four movies was paralysed when he was thrown from a horse in 1995 and then died from cardiac arrest in 2004. His co-star, Margot Kidder, played Clark Kent's love interest Lois Lane - but later made tabloid headlines for going missing briefly in 1996, only to be discovered by police in a paranoid state of confusion. Kidder suffers from bipolar disorder, thus to attribute her personal problems to a "curse" seems about as fair as saying comic legend Richard Pryor endured drug addiction and multiple sclerosis because he happened to star in Superman III.


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