LOS ANGELES  - Briton Henry Cavill becomes the latest actor to don Superman’s famous red cape as “Man of Steel” hits theaters this week - and hopes it’s just the start of a rebooted blockbuster franchise.

The heart-throb actor co-stars with Amy Adams as plucky reporter Lois Lane and Australian Russell Crowe as his other-worldly father Jor-El in the $225 million film, aiming to soar to the top of the US summer box office.

Kevin Costner and Diane Lane play the couple who raise Superman as Clark Kent after he lands in their backyard in a space pod ejected by his real parents from the dying planet Krypton.

Cavill recalled being a Superman fan as a child growing up on Jersey, in the British Channel Islands. “I was a kid running round the garden with a tea towel round his neck, beating up his brothers and stuff,” he told AFP ahead of the film’s release in the United States this week and around the world over the rest of June.

The 30-year-old was once dubbed “the most unlucky man in Hollywood” after losing out to Daniel Craig to become James Bond in 2005, and just failing to be cast in 2006’s “Superman Returns.”

But he finally got the call from seasoned action/sci-fi director Zach Snyder to play a character famously portrayed by Christopher Reeve in four movies from 1978 to 1987, before he was paralyzed in a horse-riding accident.