Considering how long Superman has been a part of the public consciousness, there have been surprisingly few actors to take on the live-action adventures of the hero. Having made his live-action debut in 1948, the Man of Steel has been played by eight actors in that time, just one more than James Bond, who hit the big screen 13 years after Superman did. Still, each of these actors has brought something special to the legacy of Superman, even if they haven't all been faithful to the comics from which he was born.
When posters and trailers for 1978's Superman promised that audiences would believe a man could fly, that put a lot of pressure on the virtually unknown actor playing the role, Christopher Reeve. Without a doubt, Reeve pulled it off.
Reeve's Superman is still the gold standard of live-action Superman portrayals. Reeve captured the character's sense of hope, whimsy, and joy like no other actor has, and even 44 years later, he continues to be the go-to Superman for Warner Brothers advertising. And thanks to John Williams, Reeves also has the most iconic theme of any superhero. Like Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale or Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, it will be hard for any actor to replace Christopher Reeve as the perfect live-action Superman.