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Superman Movie : The Casting Super-Couch
© Joe Crowe
February 27, 2003

Let's detail the so-far fruitless search for the appropriate actor to play Superman in Warner's so-far fruitless search for a new Superman movie.

Time Warner, who owns DC Comics, has two of the biggest entertainment franchises ever, Superman and Batman, sitting in their laps. They made movie money with Superman in the late 1970s and Batman 10 years later.

All the while, their competitor Marvel Comics was the slack-jawed yokel in the big city, signing away rights on any napkin that would get them a movie made. Something has happened to Time Warner in the past decade that prevents them from making Superman and Batman money again. But I'm not here to name names (AOL.)

I never thought I would see the day, but now the cape's on the other back. DC's movie fortunes are now 1970s and 1980s Marvel. They've even made their Howard the Duck already, Steel. OK -- Steel wasn't a critically-acclaimed comic character, but like Howard, the movie had a Brat Pack member in it, Judd "Suddenly Susan" Nelson.

Will the Rush Hour guy still be the director by the time the Superman movie comes out? Will the Alias guy still be the writer? Which of the 37 Super-movie ideas that are floating out there will actually get made? Who knows? All we are doing is making fun of all the people they're allegedly auditioning to play Superman. Never mind that whenever anyone has played Superman in the past, he has been someone that nobody had ever heard of before.

Zentertainment says that Warner has said that they aren't looking for someone who looks the part or can act well. They want someone to sign a 3-picture deal. Well . . . I REALLY can't wait for this movie, then! Why don't they just call Gilbert Gottfried? Brooke Shields would do it. Emmanuel Lewis is hotter than ever.

A lot of people don't think it's funny when you make fun of people simply based on their physical appearance or other surface factors. So let's get started!

Josh Hartnett

Formerly the top contender, until he recently pulled himself out of the running. He is a man. No black hair, but they can dye that. Or they can say something silly like they don't think Superman needs black hair.

Because he has done intense dramas like Black Hawk Down, and intense crap-splatters like Pearl Harbor, he may feel like superhero movies are beneath him. He may feel he is a Serious Actor. He had a very compelling dramatic performance in 40 Days and 40 Nights. Unfortunately, that was a comedy.

Keanu Reeves

Has been a contender ever since Nicolas Cage backed out to do crappy movies and marry and divorce Michael Jackson's seconds. Reeves meets two of Hollywood's main qualifications to play Superman: 1) He is a man. 2) He has black hair. And yes, this does mean that the pie-humping dude from American Pie is also a top contender.

He also has the "Reeves" name, which got two guys before him in.

Like Cage, Keanu Reeves is at the top of EVERY OTHER list in Hollywood when people want actors. This is because he has been in movies that a lot of people have gone to see. Per capita, the odds of him accepting the "Superman" role must be compared against the statistical probability that he will accept one of the 37 other parts he gets offered each day, and thus not be available to play Superman.

Brendan Fraser

Fraser was Action Guy in the Mummy movies. He kind of looks the part, and kind of acts well (except in Dudley Do-Right), which may screw him, if the above itinerary is correct.

Paul Walker

Hot Young Actor from The Fast and the Furious. Doesn't look the part. See The Skulls for his acting ability. Here's your guy!

Matthew Bomer

He's a soap opera actor, but despite my reviewing Days of Our Lives and Passions recently, I don't know what this guy looks like. If he's a typical soap actor, he's impossibly handsome, and stilted comic-book dialogue won't be a problem for him.

The Mutant X Guy

He fulfills the top 2 requirements: (guy, black hair.) He has experience playing super-hero guys. His character on Mutant X is kind of like Marvel Comics' The Vision. At least, in powers, not green spandex. He can convincingly let things run into him and bounce off. This is also a requirement for playing Superman. He almost fills the requirement of being someone nobody has heard of. He is a regular on a syndicated action show. Which is only about two steps below being a regular on a show on one of the mini-networks, The WB or UPN. Which leads us to . . .

Tom Welling

Also known, by everyone in the movie division of Time Warner, as "Who?" He is a regular on a show on The WB, where he ALREADY PLAYS SUPERMAN. Will he get cast as movie Superman? No sirree. Here are two possibilities why not:

1) The movie people don't want the public to think this movie is a big-budget sequel to Smallville. They want to do their version of Superman. And by that, they mean whatever they feel like Superman ought to be like. Some reports have even said that Smallville would be cancelled to make room for the Superman movie. Who needs money anyway? Let those WB TV guys have Gilmore Girls.

2) They don't even know there is a Superman TV show, because no division of Warner seems to know that any other division exists. "Superman comes from a WHAT-ic book?"

There's nothing I can do about reason 2 except mail them a TV Guide. But let me now refute reason 1.

People will go see a Superman movie. Without a doubt. This movie has some money for Time Warner, but they're fretting too much about it. It doesn't matter who's in it. So they should make their movie and get it over with. Will it be a good movie? They never worry about that any other time.

But here's the thing. Smallville is off-the-page excellent this season, the episode guest-starring Christopher Reeve in particular. I defy them to do better than when Reeve's character tells Clark about the message from Krypton, and the Superman movie theme swells in the background.

Whoever gets cast, this movie is Smallville's bitch.

RevolutionSF News Editor Joe Crowe wishes the movie people would move on to Green Lantern. Or at least, the Shazam guy.

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