Henry Cavill was cast as the Man of Steel, Superman. It turns out he has a pretty interesting story. He was already cast as Superman before! Check out this article from 2004 on MovieWeb. He was cast when McG was set to direct. That film (totally separate from Superman Returns) died out, and Bryan Singer took over the reigns. Singer cast Brandon Routh and the rest was history.
THEN, Cavill was almost cast as Batman! Turns out he was on Christopher Nolan's short list before ultimately casting Christian Bale.
THEN, Cavill was almost cast as James Bond, but lost the role to Daniel Craig.
THEN, Cavill was almost cast as Edward in the Twilight Saga. That went to the douche bag of a generation, Robert Pattinson.
THEN, Cavill was almost cast as the Green Lantern, but lost the role to Ryan Reynolds.
Holy mother of wow this guy's been through a lot. I mean those are four bonafide franchises the man lost out on. I almost feel bad being so disappointed in the casting, but I don't. I knew they wanted a relative unknown, so I can't say I was TOTALLY surprised by Cavill's casting. I wanted someone who was more famous, but then I read an article in the LA Times.
The article shares an obvious point... now Superman, Batman (Christian Bale, Welsh), Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield, UK), will all be played by British actors. Not counting Thor (Chris Hemsworth, Australian), and Green Lantern (Ryan Reynolds, Canadian). The article makes valid points as to why Directors cast the actors they do. Also, it looks at why the "charismatic" American actors, don't always do well, ala George Clooney's Batman. It's an interesting article, check it out. For now, I still don't like Cavill's casting and can only hope Producer Nolan and director Zack Snyder make me eat my words.