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WATCH: 10 things you didn't know about the Superman movies
For starters, Robert Redford, Clint Eastwood, and James Caan all turned down the chance to play the Man of Steel in the '70s
 
Lucky for us, James Caan didn't want to wear the tight outfit, so we got Christopher Reeve.
Lucky for us, James Caan didn't want to wear the tight outfit, so we got Christopher Reeve. AP Photo

On Friday, Zack Snyder's Superman reboot Man of Steel hits theaters, offering a fresh spin on a character whose cinematic legacy goes back all the way to 1941, when Fleischer Studios produced a series of animated shorts for theatrical release. The past 65 years have seen everyone from Kirk Alyn to George Reeves to Christopher Reeve to Brandon Routh take on the legendary comic book character, with Man of Steel star Henry Cavill as the latest to strap on the red cape.

With so many cinematic takes on the Man of Steel, there are plenty of fascinating pieces of trivia about the franchise — and WatchMojo.com has collected 10 of the best. Did you know that Christopher Reeve was only cast as the lead in 1978's Superman after Robert Redford, Clint Eastwood, and James Caan rejected the role? Or that Marlon Brando ended up making over $14 million for his 10 minutes of footage as Jor-El — despite the fact that he refused to memorize any of his lines? Or that producers originally pursued none other than Will Smith to play Superman in 2006's Superman Returns? Learn these facts and more in WatchMojo.com's "Top 10 Pieces of Superman Trivia" video:

 
Scott Meslow is the entertainment editor for TheWeek.com. He has written about film and television at publications including The AtlanticPOLITICO Magazine, and Vulture.

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