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Playing Superman a super opportunity

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Producer Christopher Nolan and the makers of “Man of Steel,” which opens Friday, have invested considerable creative energy – and studio dollars – in playing up Superman as a strange, introspective visitor from another planet. They wanted a hero as realistically grounded, in his highflying way, as Nolan’s Batman.

Yet you can be sure that on some level they also wanted a charming, big blue Boy Scout. It’s a casting ideal they saw in Henry Cavill, 30, a Brit semi-familiar from roles in “Immortals” and TV’s “The Tudors,” and a candidate for a scrapped Superman project a decade ago.

The Globe caught up with Cavill (pronounced like gravel) by phone from Los Angeles last week.

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