Henry Cavill, from the Showtime series “The Tudors,” has won the role of Superman in the coming Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures reboot of the franchise. The new Superman movie will be directed by Zack Snyder and produced by Christopher Nolan, Charles Roven, Emma Thomas and Deborah Snyder. The movie is due out December 2012.

Zack Snyder added, “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. 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.”

Cavill is perhaps best known for his role as Charles Brandon, the brother-in-law of Henry VIII, in the royal drama “The Tudors.” He was a main contender for “Superman Returns” when Joseph “McG” Nichol was attached as director. But when McG exited the project in 2004 and Bryan Singer signed on, Brandon Routh was subsequently cast.

Singer’s film, released in 2006, grossed about $391 million at the worldwide box office, a disappointment given its reported $215 million cost. An executive at Time Warner Inc-owned Warner Bros. later said the film “didn’t quite work … in the way that we wanted it to.”

Cavill, born in the Channel Islands, is the latest actor with British ties to take on the role of an iconic American superhero. Andrew Garfield, born in Los Angeles but raised in England, was last year cast as the lead in a reboot of the “Spider-Man” franchise, which is due out in July 2012.