Super Who: The Best Past and Future Superman?

by | Oct 27th, 2010 | 11:25AM | Filed under: DVD Reviews, Movies, News

When news broke a few weeks ago that Zack Snyder had nabbed the coveted directing gig for the new Supeman reboot, speculation immediately began as to what actor would be pulling on the tights and cape for the 300 and Watchmen director.

The new film is being produced by The Dark Knight and Inception mastermind Christopher Nolan, and Snyder has already said it will have no continuity ties to either the Richard Donner and Christopher Reeve franchise or the 2006 Bryan Singer reboot with Brandon Routh. And Armie Hammer, who played the Winklevii in The Social Network and sure as heck has the jaw for the job, has said Snyder is looking for an “middle-aged Superman” between 35 and 40 years old.

Superman/Batman: Apocalypse

While we wait for news of a new Supes, the fan-favorite Smallville has started its final season on the CW, and Warner Animation and DC Comics continues to release really solid, entertaining entries in its DC Universe Animated Original Movies series. Recent titles include Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, and Batman: Under the Red Hood (on DVD and Blu-ray).

The latest is Superman/Batman: Apocalypse (currently available from redbox), which follows the arrival on Earth of Kara, the new Supergirl (Firefly and Terminator: Sarah Conner Chronicles‘ Summer Glau), and her abduction and corruption by Darkseid (Andre Braugher), the evil Lord of the fiery war planet Apocalypse. There’s even more Girl Power on hand, as Wonder Woman and Big Barda also get roped into battle–but be warned, like the other DC Universe titles, Apocalypse is created for teen viewers. (Kara refers to Kevin Conroy’s Batman as “Grumpy Ass.”)

So now is a good time to look at some of the more famous actors who’ve played the Big Blue Boy Scout in the past and then look to the future. And let’s hear your picks in the comments below as to your favorite Superman actors and your wish list for Snyder and Nolan’s re-imagining.

Supermen of the Past and Present

  • Bud Collyer — Voiced the amazingly cool ’40s cartoon shorts by Max Fleischer. (Find ‘em! Watch ‘em!)
  • Kirk Alyn — From the ’40s movie serials, the first live-action appearance of the character.
  • George Reeves — Beloved (and tragic) star of the ’50s TV show The Adventures of Superman.
  • Danny Dark – He voiced Superman in the classic ’70s Saturday-morning Superfriends cartoon!
  • Christopher Reeve — Probably the most famous Supes of our time, from the excellent Superman and Superman II.
  • Dean Cain — The TV Superman of the ’90s, playing opposite Teri Hatcher in the romantic comedy Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman
  • Tim Daly — Has voiced the animated Superman since 1996, including Apocalypse.
  • Tom Welling — Finishing up his 10th and final season as young Clark Kent on TV’s Smallville. Does that mean the last episode will finally show him in the tights and cape?
  • Brandon Routh — An Iowa boy like George Reeves, Routh was plucked from obscurity for Bryan Singer’s 2006 big-screen reboot.
  • Ben Affleck — No, he never actually played Big Blue (though Kevin Smith always championed him for the role, and he was in the running for the new directing job), but he did play George Reeves in the very well-done 2006 drama Hollywoodland that asked “Did Reeves commit suicide or was he murdered?”

Supermen of the Future?

  • Henry Cavill – The British actor from Stardust and The Tudors has been popping up on lists
  • Matt Bomer — Texan TV actor (Chuck, White Collar), also getting casting buzz
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt — I love the (500) Days of Summer and Inception actor, Nolan loves him (rumors swirled he’d play the Riddler in the next Batman movie), but is he just too skinny?
  • Armie HammerThe Social Network‘s super-WASP twins says he (and the others?) are too young for what Snyder and Nolan have in mind
  • Jon Hamm — So does that leave the acclaimed Mad Men star as the frontrunner?

Forget the “rumored” casting lists–who would YOU pick to play The Man of Steel?


More Superman from redbox:

94 Responses to “Super Who: The Best Past and Future Superman?”

  1. Brenda
    Posted on November 2, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    I say Travis Kraft should play Superman. He played Superman in a maagazine shoot with Lindsay Lohan and looks the part more than anyone.

    Check out this pic of him wearing one of Reeve’s suits.

    • Currently 5/5 Stars
    Posted on November 2, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    Tom Welling! He’s been playing Superman for 10 seasons now and he knows how to be dark and he knows how to play the “soft” side of Superman also. I think he would be the one to bring the movies back!

    • Currently 5/5 Stars
    Jose Javier
    Posted on November 2, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    Listen well and carefully, Tom Welling is the only one that comes close to fill in the shoes of Christopher Reeves and the guy does represents The Superman of all time. May he rest in peace! I would suggest for these producers of smallville to, MAKE a movie of Clarke Kent coming out of the Farm to the The Superman that he is. This is what will make the show smallville continue from the big screen to the small screen that will be a revolution with the best selling movie of all time. It also takes smarts to use the same ACTORS from the small screen to the big screen. Talk about a revelation to a revolution…. PS. Tom Welling has what it takes to be the 21st century Superman nonetheless it would be a splendid idea to make a routine to head to the gym! It wouldn’t hurt at all… It is a tall order but the sequel to smallville continues from the big screen that will be A SUPERMAN Vision.

  2. Karen
    Posted on November 2, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    I have been waiting for Brandon Routh to return in the next Superman movie. Loved him in the first one. Please make him return in the next movie.

  3. n2reality
    Posted on November 2, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    Superman…yeah, that’s right, super man; the name of the character says nothing about race or color, right? Don’t you think it’s time for a comic book hero who is not Caucasian? After all, the Superman character is actually an alien, so why not make a change to common sense. Does anyone really believe that when life is discovered in the far reaches of space, that being will look like Tom Welling? Exactly, of course not. Why not break this ridiculous string of Hollywood comic book heroes who are all Caucasian; Superman, Batman (all of them!), Wonder Woman, The Green Lantern (The upcoming live-action), and even the Hulk, who turns green, has been cast as a Caucasian man. Why not break the old-Hollywood color policy? In the 21st century, I say pick a talented actor who would be believable playing an alien Man-of-Steel. How about Russell Wong? How about Michael Jai White? How about Boris Kodjoe? I think all three actors have the acting chops and “the look” to be bankable and believable as a modern-day super man.

  4. carolyn byrne
    Posted on November 2, 2010 at 11:17 pm

    TOM WELLING should remain the current superman.. after all todays youth and us older ones,love him.

  5. Cherie
    Posted on November 3, 2010 at 10:15 am

    I agree that Tom Welling should continue the superman saga. I would like to see his character evolve to superman instead of referred to as “The Blur”!

  6. Betty
    Posted on November 3, 2010 at 10:15 am

    Ben Afleck should definitely play superman. He is cool, sexy and has a great sense of humor. Because superman definitely can not be stuck-up.

  7. neva
    Posted on November 3, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    I think you should let Tom Welling be the next Superman. He has been playing the role for 10 years now, he knows Superman and is the right age that you are looking for.

  8. Dave
    Posted on November 3, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    i think Thomas Gibson(Greg) from the show Dharma and Greg would make a good superman.i think he looks the part for sure.

  9. Herm1947
    Posted on November 3, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    Brandon Routh did a great job, even though Superman Returns wasn’t that good of a film. SMALLVILLE’s 9th and 10th season has been spectacular and TOM WELLING has done an excellent job becoming The Blur/Superman to be. Tom should be given a screen test at the very least. I’m still open to other actors donning the red cape, but hopeully Snyder will give Tom a shot.

  10. BRYAN
    Posted on November 3, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    is there even a question as to who should be the NEXT Superman? JON HAMM! Who else? he looks exactly like Alex Ross’ drawing of Superman. and his acting fits a nice mature Superman!

  11. TW1977
    Posted on November 3, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    TOM WELLING is the ONLY choice for Superman! 10 season of Smallville have prepared him for the task and he should continue on the journey towards being the present day hero. He’s my Superman, tights or no tights!

  12. croikie
    Posted on November 4, 2010 at 8:55 am

    Tom Welling would be my choice.

    Who else? Andy Dick? Maybe Tom Green…. No better stick with Tom Welling.

  13. Brandon
    Posted on November 4, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    Tom Welling… if he is not seriously considered the whole thing is a joke. He could easily be aged into the bracket they are considering. I read superman comics since I was a kid… and then started watching Smallville with my wife. It’s a good show. But with a really great script and the freedom a movie setting could offer over a television format, it could be awesome. Welling already has a depth to the character that no other live action conveyance has ever been able to establish.

  14. trip
    Posted on November 4, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    •Henry Cavill
    •Matt Bomer
    •Joseph Gordon-Levitt
    •Armie Hammer
    •Jon Hamm
    no to all. how about george clooney or does he have too much class
    Gerard Butler hes bad ass
    or tom welling be nice to see im keep progreesing the story

  15. Matthew
    Posted on November 4, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    If the powers that be aren’t willing to bring Brandon Routh (who was excellent with what he was given) back then I hope they will consider Justin Bruening from the NBC Knight Rider continuation tv series.

  16. Kevin
    Posted on November 5, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    Tom Welling