I watched all the Reeve films again recently. Whilst they've started to get dated in terms of the effects, campy humour and dubious plotlines, there is absolutely no disputing how fantastic Reeve was as both Superman and Clark Kent.
Looks wise, he was pretty much perfect. Tall (6"4), muscular, broad shouldered, broad chest, thick neck. He looked intimidating to bad guys, yet still had the perfect face and mannerisms for appearing friendly to everyone else. He also wasn't that
big that he couldn't slip into his Clark Kent persona convincingly.
Speaking of which, his transitions between Superman and Clark Kent were a joy to watch. He was effectively acting 2 roles in this film, not 1, - he was either playing Superman, or (arguably) playing Superman playing Clark Kent. Clark was bumbling, nervous, mild-mannered, clumsy, socially awkward ............ everything that Superman wasn't. Reeve was so convincing as Clark that at times you forget it's all an act, until you see a great scene like the one in Superman II where Lois discovers who he is. He turns his back to her and suddenly his entire posture changes - the slouch disappears, he straightens himself, and it's almost like he gains 2 inches in height and a whole new attitude.
As fantastic as Reeve was, his time - unfortunately - has passed, and I'm all for a new take on the character. We have
to move on - trying to emulate Reeve's performance will never work, as he was the pinnacle of Superman casting. You can't improve on him, and any attempt to copy him will always come off as a poor imitation. They tried it in Superman Returns, and it didn't really work. It's time for a new approach now, and with that in mind I'm very interested to see what Snyder and Cavill can do.
For anyone interested, there are some really fantastic photos of Reeve as Superman over at capedwonder.com - behind the scenes, off set, etc. Many I never saw before until I looked on that site.
Having a rest between takes -