The Classic Superman Cameo You May Have Missed In Man Of Steel

It is widely known that superhero movies simply love featuring cameos from actors who once played a different version of the same superhero. Most superhero flicks are teeming with Easter eggs from the comics, but very few go on to include well-known actors who have portrayed the hero in the past. Some work better than others — in the case of "Spider-Man: No Way Home," which has become one of the biggest movies of all time, a rather significant chunk of that recognition can be credited to the character cameos from former "Spider-Man" movies.

While the MCU intelligently tapped into the nostalgia factor and brought back multiple old actors in the flesh, DC seems to have unintentionally employed the cameo concept in the past — but in a slightly more unconventional way.

In Zack Snyder's "Man of Steel," the first film that saw Henry Cavill as Superman, there is a surprising, classic Superman cameo (or two depending on how you see it). It's a blink-and-you-miss-it moment and often easily overlooked — even by the most enthusiastic fans.

It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's ...

The Superman actor who has a cameo in the film is Aaron Smolinski! He is famously known for playing baby Clark Kent in Richard Donner's 1978 "Superman" film. The actor appears in a scene where the superhero, as a child, lifts a truck for the first time. Smolinski also appeared in the second and third films, appearing in archival footage and later playing an uncredited role as a boy at a photo booth. In "Man of Steel," Smolinski portrayed a communications officer, although it is unspecified which scene he is in.

So that was it — until eagle-eyed DC fans began speculating over a scene that appeared to have been a tribute to Christopher Reeve, the late actor from "Superman" (1978).

A Reddit user dissected a particular clip from "Man of Steel" to an extent where a frame-by-frame break-down seemed to prove that Snyder had morphed Christopher Reeve's face onto Cavill's. Reeve's face appeared to have been superimposed on Henry Cavill's, and the uncanny resemblance between two actors at that moment was credited to it. The scene in question is the one where Superman takes flight.

Spoiler alert: Unfortunately, there is no truth to the claim. later confirmed that while Christopher Reeve has been immortalized in his iteration of Kal-El/Clark Kent in the "Superman" series of films, the actor doesn't have an authentic, confirmed cameo in "Man of Steel."

DC and Warner Bros. left fans to interpret the mysterious Easter egg independently until 2016 when Snyder addressed the potential Christopher Reeve tribute. While promoting "Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice," Zack Snyder revealed that it was a fan theory, and unintentionally done. Cavill just happens to bear an uncanny resemblance to Reeve — especially in that moment. Speaking to Cines Argentinos (via Reddit), the filmmaker finally put the rumor at rest.

"Fan theory, It doesn't exist. It's just the way it looks. It's not... I mean if it looks like that, that's the gods. Not me."

Following Snyder's admission, it was clarified that Smolinski was the actor behind the classic Superman cameo in "Man of Steel" — not Christopher Reeve!